Organization of plasma membrane functional rafts upon T cell activation

Loretta Tuosto, Isabella Parolini, Susanne Schröder, Massimo Sargiacomo, Antonio Lanzavecchia, Antonella Viola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Raft microdomains have been shown to play a key role in T cell activation. We found that in human T lymphocytes the formation of functional rafts at the plasma membrane was induced by T cell priming. In resting T cells from peripheral blood Lck and the raft glycosphingolipid GM1 resided in intracellular membranes. T cell activation induced synthesis of GM1 and effector cells showed very high levels of this lipid, which became predominantly plasma membrane associated. TCR triggering also induced targeting of the cytosolic Lck to the plasma membrane. Thus, effector cells acquire an improved signaling machinery by increasing the amount of rafts at the plasma membrane. The fact that, when compared with naive T cells, memory T cells showed higher GM1 levels suggests that raft lipid synthesis may be developmentally regulated and tune T cell responsiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Effector
  • Lck
  • Naive
  • Raft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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