Membrane compartmentation is required for efficient T cell activation

Immunity. 1998 Jun;8(6):723-32. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80577-4.


The plasma membrane of mammalian cells contains detergent-resistant membrane rafts enriched in glycosphingolipids and cholesterol. Although several important signaling molecules have been found in such rafts, evidence documenting a functional role for their localization has been scarce. Using a fractionation scheme that preserves tyrosine phosphorylation, we show that T cell activation leads to a striking compartmentation in the rafts of activated T cell receptor and associated signal-transducing molecules. Conditions that reversibly disrupt raft structure either by dispersing their contents or by forcing their internalization reversibly disrupt the earliest steps of T cell activation. Thus, raft integrity is a prerequisite for efficient T cell receptor signal transduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Compartmentation / immunology
  • Cell Membrane / immunology*
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / ultrastructure*