Cell membranes actively participate in numerous cellular functions. Inasmuch as bioactivities of cell membranes such as signal transduction are known to depend crucially on their lateral organization, much effort has been focused on deciphering this organization on different length scales. Within this context, our major goal has been to increase our understanding of the role of the plasma membrane lateral dynamics and organization in immune cell signaling.
More particularly, the mechanism of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) transmembrane signaling leading to T cell activation is still poorly understood. It has become clear in recent years that this is at least in part due to our limited knowledge on the real behavior of different molecular players for TCR signaling at the plasma membrane and how they are regulated. Within this context, we investigate at high spatial and temporal resolution the molecular dynamics and interactions at the plasma membrane of living T cells.
For instance, the spot-variation Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (svFCS) method allowed us to identify in the plasma membrane two major lateral confining factors that are lipid raft nanodomains and the actin cytoskeleton meshwork. These two factors appear to be key players in immune receptor signaling initiation in T lymphocytes.
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