Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The adaptor protein CrkII regulates T cell adhesion by recruiting the guanine nucleotide exchange factor C3G, an activator of Rap1. Subsequently, Rap1 stimulates the integrin LFA-1, which leads to T cell adhesion and interaction with antigen-presenting cells (APCs). The adhesion of T cells to APCs is critical for their proper function and education. The interface between the T cell and the APC is known as the immunological synapse. It is characterized by the specific organization of proteins that can be divided into central supramolecular activation clusters (c-SMACs) and peripheral SMACs (p-SMACs). Through total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and experiments with supported lipid bilayers, we determined that activated Rap1 was recruited to the immunological synapse and localized to the p-SMAC. C3G and the active (dephosphorylated) form of CrkII also localized to the same compartment. In contrast, inactive (phosphorylated) CrkII was confined to the c-SMAC. Activation of CrkII and its subsequent movement from the c-SMAC to the p-SMAC depended on the phosphatase SHP-1, which acted downstream of the T cell receptor. In the p-SMAC, CrkII recruited C3G, which led to Rap1 activation and LFA-1-mediated adhesion of T cells to APCs. Functionally, SHP-1 was necessary for both the adhesion and migration of T cells. Together, these data highlight a signaling pathway in which SHP-1 acts through CrkII to reshape the pattern of Rap1 activation in the immunological synapse.

Original publication




Journal article


Science signaling

Publication Date





Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.