Activation induces a rapid reorganization of spectrin in lymphocytes

John K. Lee, Jennifer D. Black, Elizabeth A. Repasky, Ralph T. Kubo, Richard B. Bankert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Lymphocyte activation results in a rapid reorganization of the cytoskeletal protein spectrin. Immediately following an activation signal, there is fragmentation of a spectrin-rich cytoplasmic structure and subsequent translocation of the fragments to defined areas of the plasma membrane in both antigen-specific T cell hybridomas and lymph node T cells. These dramatic changes have been documented by light and electron microscopic immunolocalization and by immunoblot analysis of plasma membrane-enriched preparations. A T cell hybridoma variant lacking the spectrin-rich cytoplasmic structure of the parental line does not redistribute spectrin and produces little or no IL-2 in response to antigen-dependent activation. This suggests a functional link between spectrin distribution and activation potential. We propose that the cytoplasmic structure functions as an organizing center or reservoir for spectrin that is sensitive to signaling at the cell surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-816
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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