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The immunological synapse is a stable adhesive junction between a polarized immune effector cell and an antigen-bearing cell. Immunological synapses are often observed to have a striking radial symmetry in the plane of contact with a prominent central cluster of antigen receptors surrounded by concentric rings of adhesion molecules and actin-rich projections. There is a striking similarity between the radial zones of the immunological synapse and the dynamic actinomyosin modules employed by migrating cells. Breaking the symmetry of an immunological synapse generates a moving adhesive junction that can be defined as a kinapse, which facilitates signal integration by immune cells while moving over the surface of antigen-presenting cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Cell Biol

Publication Date





529 - 533


Actins, Animals, Cell Adhesion, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Cell Communication, Cytoskeleton, Humans, Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Lymphocyte Activation, Mitochondrial Proteins, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Signal Transduction, T-Lymphocytes