Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Considerable progress has been made in characterizing four key sets of interactions controlling antigen responsiveness in T cells, involving the following: the T cell antigen receptor, its coreceptors CD4 and CD8, the costimulatory receptors CD28 and CTLA-4, and the accessory molecule CD2. Complementary work has defined the general biophysical properties of interactions between cell surface molecules. Among the major conclusions are that these interactions are structurally heterogeneous, often reflecting clear-cut functional constraints, and that, although they all interact relatively weakly, hierarchical differences in the stabilities of the signaling complexes formed by these molecules may influence the sequence of steps leading to T cell activation. Here we review these developments and highlight the major challenges remaining as the field moves toward formulating quantitative models of T cell recognition.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Immunol

Publication Date





217 - 224


Abatacept, Animals, Antigens, CD, Antigens, Differentiation, CD2 Antigens, CD28 Antigens, CD4 Antigens, CD8 Antigens, CTLA-4 Antigen, Glycosylation, Immunoconjugates, Lymphocyte Activation, Mice, Protein Binding, Rats, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, T-Lymphocytes