The membrane-microfilament linker ezrin is involved in the formation of the immunological synapse and in T cell activation.
Roumier A., Olivo-Marin JC., Arpin M., Michel F., Martin M., Mangeat P., Acuto O., Dautry-Varsat A., Alcover A.
Dynamic interactions between membrane and cytoskeleton components are crucial for T cell antigen recognition and subsequent cellular activation. We report here that the membrane-microfilament linker ezrin plays an important role in these processes. First, ezrin relocalizes to the contact area between T cells and stimulatory antigen-presenting cells (APCs), accumulating in F-actin-rich membrane protrusions at the periphery of the immunological synapse. Second, T cell receptor (TCR)-mediated intracellular signals are sufficient to induce ezrin relocalization, indicating that this protein is an effector of TCR signaling. Third, overexpression of the membrane binding domain of ezrin perturbs T cell receptor clustering in the T cell-APC contact area and inhibits the activation of nuclear factor for activated T cells (NF-AT).