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Modulation of T-cell receptor functional sensitivity via the opposing actions of protein tyrosine kinases and phosphatases: a mathematical model

Szomolay, Barbara and van den Berg, Hugo A. 2014. Modulation of T-cell receptor functional sensitivity via the opposing actions of protein tyrosine kinases and phosphatases: a mathematical model. Integrative Biology 6 (12) , pp. 1183-1195. 10.1039/C4IB00190G

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Abstract

Combining receptor kinetics and stochastic modelling of receptor activation, we show that a T-cell can specifically augment its functional sensitivity to one particular peptide ligand while simultaneously decreasing its sensitivity to other ligands, by coordinating the expression levels of the co-receptor CD8 and the relative activities of kinases and phosphatases in the vicinity of the T-cell receptor (TCR). We propose that this focusable degeneracy of epitope recognition allows a TCR to have a wide range of potential ligands but be specifically sensitive to only one or a few of these at any one time, which resolves the paradox of how a relatively small number of clones (∼106) can maintain the potential to respond to a vast space of ligands (∼209) whilst avoiding auto-immunity. We validate the model against experimental data and predict shifts in functional sensitivity following a shift in the kinase/phosphatase balance (which could in principle be induced by experimental means). Moreover, we propose that in vivo, the T-cell gauges ligand quality by monitoring changes in TCR triggering rate concomitant with shifts in this balance, for instance as the immunological synapse matures.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN: 1757-9694
Date of Acceptance: 4 October 2014
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2019 12:06
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/110152

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