Molecular dynamics in the membranes of helper T cells

A. Kupfer, S. J. Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We provide evidence that redistributions and interactions of integral proteins in the fluid membranes of helper T (Th) cells may play important roles in Th-cell activation. A particular monoclonal antibody, 3D3, directed to a clonotypic determinant on the T-cell receptor (TCR) of the cloned Th-cell line D10, had previously been shown to be distinctively capable of directly activating D10 cells at low concentrations. We demonstrate here by immunofluorescence experiments that it is also distinctively able itself to produce a clustering (capping) of the TCRs on the D10 cell surface. Simultaneously, by means of double-immunofluorescence experiments, we find that the 3D3-induced clustering of the TCRs distinctively produces a co-clustering of the accessory molecule CD4 with the TCR clusters, although the CD4 and TCR molecules are normally independent of one another in the D10 cell membrane. These results, and related ones previously obtained from studies of the interactions of D10 Th cells with antigen-presenting cells, are analyzed to suggest that the membrane clustering of TCRs and the induced TCR-CD4 interactions are critical to the signaling events in Th-cell activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8216-8220
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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