Intracellular accumulation of T-cell receptor complex molecules in a human T-cell line

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Science  07 Nov 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4777, pp. 748-751
DOI: 10.1126/science.3490690


This work was aimed at understanding the mechanisms of T-lymphocyte function by studying the cellular distribution and traffic of molecules of the T-cell receptor complex. The accumulation of specific molecules in intracytoplasmic vesicles is related to the activation of T lymphocytes. Some of these molecules include acid hydrolases, the transferrin receptor, and class I antigens of the major histocompatibility complex. Molecules of the T-cell receptor complex have now also been found in intracytoplasmic vesicles in a human T-cell line derived from a lymphoblastic leukemia. Such vesicles were tightly associated with the cytoplasmic microtubule network. One functional aspect of this association is a cellular pathway by which vesicles traveling to and from the cell surface converge in an area of the cells that is rich in processing enzymes.