The immunological synapse: A molecular machine controlling T cell activation

Arash Grakoui, Shannon K. Bromley, Cenk Sumen, Mark M. Davis, Andrey S. Shaw, Paul M. Allen, Michael L. Dustin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2538 Scopus citations


The specialized junction between a T lymphocyte and an antigen- presenting cell, the immunological synapse, consists of a central duster of T cell receptors surrounded by a ring of adhesion molecules. Immunological synapse formation is now shown to be an active and dynamic mechanism that allows T cells to distinguish potential antigenic ligands. Initially, T cell receptor ligands were engaged in an outermost ring of the nascent synapse. Transport of these complexes into the central cluster was dependent on T cell receptor-ligand interaction kinetics. Finally, formation of a stable central cluster at the heart of the synapse was a determinative event for T cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
Issue number5425
StatePublished - Jul 9 1999


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