Biophysical characterization of CD6 - TCR/CD3 Interplay in T Cells

Marjolein B.M. Meddens, Svenja F.B. Mennens, F. Burcu Celikkol, Joost te Riet, Johannes S. Kanger, Ben Joosten, J. Joris Witsenburg, Roland Brock, Carl G. Figdor* (Corresponding Author), Alessandra Cambi* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Activation of the T cell receptor (TCR) on the T cell through ligation with antigen-MHC complex of an antigen-presenting cell (APC) is an essential process in the activation of T cells and induction of the subsequent adaptive immune response. Upon activation, the TCR, together with its associated co-receptor CD3 complex, assembles in signaling microclusters that are transported to the center of the organizational structure at the T cell-APC interface termed the immunological synapse (IS). During IS formation, local cell surface receptors and associated intracellular molecules are reorganized, ultimately creating the typical bull's eye-shaped pattern of the IS. CD6 is a surface glycoprotein receptor, which has been previously shown to associate with CD3 and co-localize to the center of the IS in static conditions or stable T cell-APC contacts. In this study, we report the use of different experimental set-ups analyzed with microscopy techniques to study the dynamics and stability of CD6-TCR/CD3 interaction dynamics and stability during IS formation in more detail. We exploited antibody spots, created with microcontact printing, and antibody-coated beads, and could demonstrate that CD6 and the TCR/CD3 complex co-localize and are recruited into a stimulatory cluster on the cell surface of T cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate, for the first time, that CD6 forms microclusters co-localizing with TCR/CD3 microclusters during IS formation on supported lipid bilayers. These co-localizing CD6 and TCR/CD3 microclusters are both radially transported toward the center of the IS formed in T cells, in an actin polymerization-dependent manner. Overall, our findings further substantiate the role of CD6 during IS formation and provide novel insight into the dynamic properties of this CD6-TCR/CD3 complex interplay. From a methodological point of view, the biophysical approaches used to characterize these receptors are complementary and amenable for investigation of the dynamic interactions of other membrane receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2333
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberOCT
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2018


  • CD6
  • Immunological synapse
  • Membrane receptor
  • Receptor dynamics
  • T cell
  • T-cell receptor (TCR)
  • CD3


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