Functional Analysis of Interactions within the TCR-CD3-pMHC-CD4 Macro-complex
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 01-Jun-2017
AbstractCD4⁺ T cells are a critical component of the adaptive immune compartment. Each T cell expresses a clonotypic T cell receptor (TCR) that must discriminate between self and foreign peptides presented in major histocompatibility molecules (pMHC) on the surface of antigen presenting cells to direct T cell fate decisions. Information regarding TCR-pMHC interactions must then be transmitted to the TCR-associated CD3 signaling modules, which contain ITAMs that serve as signaling substrates for Src kinases. The Src kinase, Lck, is recruited to the pMHC-bound TCR-CD3 complex via association with the CD4 coreceptor that binds MHCII. It is therefore through the coordinated interactions within the TCR-CD3-pMHC-CD4 macro-complex that productive TCR signaling can occur to inform T cell activation and fate decisions. While much is known regarding the structure of the individual subunits that make up the TCR-CD3-pMHC-CD4 macro-complex, there is little information regarding how these components come together to initiate TCR signaling and determine functional outcomes. Here, we have interrogated how interaction of these individual components leads to productive T cell activation. Specifically, we interrogated the nature of TCR-MHC interactions and provide evidence that there is intrinsic specificity of the TCR for MHCII. We have also built mouse models to determine the role of TCR-CD3 interactions and TCR dimerization in the transmission of information from the TCR to the CD3 subunits following TCR-pMHC engagement. Finally, we show that both the CD4 transmembrane and extracellular domains contribute to T cell activation in vitro. Overall, this work provides insight into how the constituents of the TCR-CD3-pMHC-CD4 macro-complex interact to initiate T cell fate and function.
Degree ProgramGraduate College