In vitro reconstitution of T cell receptor-mediated segregation of the CD45 phosphatase. Conference Paper uri icon


  • T cell signaling initiates upon the binding of peptide-loaded MHC (pMHC) on an antigen-presenting cell to the T cell receptor (TCR) on a T cell. TCR phosphorylation in response to pMHC binding is accompanied by segregation of the transmembrane phosphatase CD45 away from TCR-pMHC complexes. The kinetic segregation hypothesis proposes that CD45 exclusion shifts the local kinase-phosphatase balance to favor TCR phosphorylation. Spatial partitioning may arise from the size difference between the large CD45 extracellular domain and the smaller TCR-pMHC complex, although parsing potential contributions of extracellular protein size, actin activity, and lipid domains is difficult in living cells. Here, we reconstitute segregation of CD45 from bound receptor-ligand pairs using purified proteins on model membranes. Using a model receptor-ligand pair (FRB-FKBP), we first test physical and computational predictions for protein organization at membrane interfaces. We then show that the TCR-pMHC interaction causes partial exclusion of CD45. Comparing two developmentally regulated isoforms of CD45, the larger RABC variant is excluded more rapidly and efficiently (?50%) than the smaller R0 isoform (?20%), suggesting that CD45 isotypes could regulate signaling thresholds in different T cell subtypes. Similar to the sensitivity of T cell signaling, TCR-pMHC interactions with Kds of ?15 ┬ÁM were needed to exclude CD45. We further show that the coreceptor PD-1 with its ligand PD-L1, immunotherapy targets that inhibit T cell signaling, also exclude CD45. These results demonstrate that the binding energies of physiological receptor-ligand pairs on the T cell are sufficient to create spatial organization at membrane-membrane interfaces.

publication date

  • October 31, 2017