RECEPTOR MOBILITY AND CYTOSKELETAL DYNAMICS AT THE IMMUNE SYNAPSE: THE ROLE OF ACTIN REGULATORY PROTEINS
Rey Suarez, Ivan Adolfo
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Spatial and temporal regulation of actin and microtubule dynamics is of utmost importance for many cellular processes at different sub-cellular length scales. This is particularly relevant for cells of the immune system, which must respond rapidly and accurately to protect the host, where B cells and T cells are the main players during the adaptive immune response. An understanding of the biophysical principles underlying cytoskeletal dynamics and regulation of signaling will help elucidate the fundamental mechanisms driving B and T cell immune response. B cell receptor (BCR) diffusivity is modulated by signaling activation, however the factors linking mobility and signaling state are not completely understood. I used single molecule imaging to examine BCR mobility during signaling activation and a novel machine learning based method to classify BCR trajectories into distinct diffusive states. Inhibition of actin dynamics downstream of the actin nucleating factors Arp2/3 and formins resulted decreased BCR mobility. Loss of the Arp2/3 regulator, N-WASP, which is associated with enhanced signaling, leads to a predominance of BCR trajectories with lower diffusivity. Furthermore, loss of N-WASP reduces diffusivity of the stimulatory co-receptor CD19, but not that of unstimulated FcγRIIB, an inhibitory co-receptor. Our results implicate the dynamic actin network in fine-tuning receptor mobility and receptor-ligand interactions, thereby modulating B cell signaling. Activation of T cells leads to the formation of the immunological synapse (IS) with an antigen presenting cell (APC). This requires T cell polarization and coordination between the actomyosin and microtubule cytoskeleton. The interactions between the different cytoskeletal components during T cell activation are not well understood. I use high-resolution fluorescence microscopy to study actin-microtubule crosstalk during IS formation. Microtubules in actin rich zones display more deformed shapes and higher dynamics compared to MTs at the actin-depleted region. Chemical inhibition of formin and myosin activation reduced MT deformations, suggesting that actomyosin contractility plays an important role in defining MT shapes. Interestingly MT growth was slowed by formin inhibition and resulting enrichment of Arp2/3 nucleated actin networks. These observations indicate an important mechanical coupling between the actomyosin and microtubule systems where different actin structures influence microtubule dynamics in distinct ways.