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Raft-dependent endocytic movement and intracellular cluster formation during T cell activation triggered by concanavalin A

Yabuuchi, Satomi, Endo, Satoshi, Baek, KeangOk, Hoshino, Kunihide, Tsujino, Yoshio, Vestergaard, Mun'delanji C., Takagi, Masahiro
Journal of bioscience and bioengineering 2017 v.124 no.6 pp. 685-693
Canavalia ensiformis, T-lymphocytes, actin, antigen-presenting cells, cell proliferation, cell-mediated immunity, cholesterol, concanavalin A, humans, immunological synapse, immunostimulants, ingredients, methodology, microfilaments, microtubules, neoplasms, signal transduction, therapeutics
Certain food ingredients can stimulate the human immune system. A lectin, concanavalin A (ConA), from Canavalia ensiformis (jack bean) is one of the most well-known food-derived immunostimulants and mediates activation of cell-mediated immunity through T cell proliferation. Generally, T cell activation is known to be triggered by the interaction between T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs) via a juxtacrine (contact-dependent) signaling pathway. The mechanism has been well characterized and is referred to as formation of the immunological synapse (IS). We were interested in the mechanism behind the T cell activation by food-derived ConA which might be different from that of T cell activation by APCs. The purpose of this study was to characterize T cell activation by ConA with regard to (i) movement of raft domain, (ii) endocytic vesicular transport, (iii) the cytoskeleton (actin and microtubules), and (iv) cholesterol composition. We found that raft-dependent endocytic movement was important for T cell activation by ConA and this movement was dependent on actin, microtubules, and cholesterol. The T cell signaling mechanism triggered by ConA can be defined as endocrine signaling which is distinct from the activation process triggered by interaction between T cells and APCs by juxtacrine signaling. Therefore, we hypothesized that T cell activation by ConA includes both two-dimensional superficial raft movement on the membrane surface along actin filaments and three-dimensional endocytic movement toward the inside of the cell along microtubules. These findings are important for developing new methods for immune stimulation and cancer therapy based on the function of ConA.