BTLA, a recently cloned coreceptor expressed on lymphocytes, negatively regulates cell activation by recruiting SHP-1/SHP-2. However, the mechanisms that regulate the intracellular localization of BTLA and its trafficking to the cell surface in T cells are still unknown. To determine the mechanisms that regulate the expression of BTLA on the surface of T cells, we examined the subcellular localization of BTLA in mouse T cells in a steady state, as well as upon activation by using a confocal laser-scanning microscopy. We found that BTLA was localized mainly in the Golgi apparatus and secretory lysosomes in resting CD4+ T cells. We also found that intracellular BTLA was translocated to the cell surface and accumulated at the immunological synapse upon TCR stimulation. Furthermore, we found that the BTLA-HVEM interaction was required for the association of BTLA with lipid rafts. These results indicate that the surface expression of BTLA and its accumulation at the immunological synapse are tightly regulated by TCR and HVEM stimulation to deliver efficient inhibitory signals in the regulation of CD4+ T cell activation.
- Cell-surface molecules
- T cells