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Mechanotransduction in T Cell Development, Differentiation and Function

by Muaz Rushdi 1,2, Kaitao Li 1,2, Zhou Yuan 2,3, Stefano Travaglino 1,2, Arash Grakoui 4,5 and Cheng Zhu 1,2,3,*
1
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
2
Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
3
George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
4
Emory Vaccine Center, Division of Microbiology and Immunology, Yerkes Research Primate Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA
5
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(2), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9020364
Received: 26 December 2019 / Revised: 16 January 2020 / Accepted: 17 January 2020 / Published: 5 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanotransduction in Control of Cell Fate and Function)
Cells in the body are actively engaging with their environments that include both biochemical and biophysical aspects. The process by which cells convert mechanical stimuli from their environment to intracellular biochemical signals is known as mechanotransduction. Exemplifying the reliance on mechanotransduction for their development, differentiation and function are T cells, which are central to adaptive immune responses. T cell mechanoimmunology is an emerging field that studies how T cells sense, respond and adapt to the mechanical cues that they encounter throughout their life cycle. Here we review different stages of the T cell’s life cycle where existing studies have shown important effects of mechanical force or matrix stiffness on a T cell as sensed through its surface molecules, including modulating receptor–ligand interactions, inducing protein conformational changes, triggering signal transduction, amplifying antigen discrimination and ensuring directed targeted cell killing. We suggest that including mechanical considerations in the immunological studies of T cells would inform a more holistic understanding of their development, differentiation and function. View Full-Text
Keywords: T cell antigen receptor; lymphocytes; thymocytes; catch bond; force; stiffness T cell antigen receptor; lymphocytes; thymocytes; catch bond; force; stiffness
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Rushdi, M.; Li, K.; Yuan, Z.; Travaglino, S.; Grakoui, A.; Zhu, C. Mechanotransduction in T Cell Development, Differentiation and Function. Cells 2020, 9, 364.

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