T cell receptor induced intracellular redistribution of type I protein kinase A

Wenhong Zhou, Leoncio Vergara, Rolf König

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The productive activation of CD4+ T lymphocytes, leading to proliferation and cytokine secretion, requires precise temporal regulation of intracellular cyclic AMP concentrations. The major effector molecule activated by cyclic AMP in mammalian cells is the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA). The type I PKA isozyme mediates the inhibitory effects of cyclic AMP on T-cell activation. Using laser scanning confocal microscopy, we demonstrated that the regulation of PKA type I activity involves spatial redistribution of PKA type I molecules following T-cell receptor (TCR) stimulation. In resting T cells, PKA type I was located in membrane proximal regions and distributed equally across the cell. Shortly after antigen engagement, T cells and antigen-presenting cells formed an area of intense contact, known as the immunological synapse. TCR concentrated at the synapse, whereas PKA type I molecules redistributed to the opposite cell pole within 10 min after T-cell stimulation. Type I PKA redistribution was solely dependent on TCR signalling, because we observed the same temporal and spatial distribution after antibody-mediated cross-linking of the TCR-associated CD3 complex. Segregation of TCR and PKA type I molecules was maintained for at least 20 min. Thirty minutes after stimulation, PKA type I partially colocalized with the TCR. After 60 min, PKA type I distribution again approached the resting state. Considering that initial TCR signals lead to increases in intracellular cyclic AMP, PKA type I molecules may be targeted towards localized cyclic AMP accumulations or transported away from these areas, depending on the requirements of the cellular response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-459
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Cellular localization
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Signal transduction
  • T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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