Lymphocytes must strike a delicate balance between activating in response to signals from potentially pathogenic organisms and avoiding activation from stimuli emanating from the body's own cells. For cells, such as T or B cells, maximizing the efficiency and fidelity, whilst minimizing the crosstalk, of complex signaling pathways is crucial. One way of achieving this control is by carefully orchestrating the spatiotemporal organization of signaling molecules, thereby regulating the rates of protein-protein interactions. This is particularly true at the plasma membrane where proximal signaling events take place and the phenomenon of protein microclustering has been extensively observed and characterized. This review will focus on what is known about the heterogeneous distribution of proteins and lipids at the cell surface, illustrating how such distributions can influence signaling in health and disease. We particularly focus on nanoscale molecular organization, which has recently become accessible for study through advances in microscope technology and analysis methodology.
- Lymphocyte Activation
- Membrane Microdomains/immunology
- Membrane Proteins/immunology
- Signal Transduction/immunology