The roles of dynein and dynein accessory proteins in T cell effector functions
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T cell effector functions depend on focused secretion. This is accomplished by secretory vesicle (SV) clustering around the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) and MTOC translocation to the specialized site of cell-cell contact - the immunological synapse (IS). The dynein molecular motor has been implicated in both processes. To investigate the roles of dynein and dynein-associated proteins we used Jurkat cells expressing fluorescent CTLA-4 for SV tracking and molecular traps targeting dynein subunits to show that dynein intermediate chain (DIC) and the light chain LC8 are needed for both SV clustering and MTOC translocation. We also found that immunostaining with different anti-DIC antibodies labeled different pools of dynein at the IS in activated Jurkat cells. To discern how dynein separately accomplishes both MTOC and SV activities we cloned DIC cDNAs from Jurkat cell mRNA and obtained two isoforms, DIC2B and DIC2C. However, both isoforms were concentrated around the MTOC and formed a ring-like structure at the IS. We also saw little difference in dynein-binding proteins that co-immunoprecipitated with each isoform. We then investigated the roles of the dynactin component p150Glued and Lis1 protein in MTOC translocation and SV clustering. Surprisingly, p150Glued was concentrated around the MTOC but was not present at the IS. SVs marked by CTLA-4 showed clustering defects while MTOC translocation was not significantly affected in p150Glued siRNA knockdown cells. On the other hand, Lis1 immunostaining labeled a ring at the IS where it mimicked the distribution of the dynein ring thought to be involved in MTOC translocation. MTOC translocation was potently blocked in Lis1 siRNA knockdown cells but dynein recruitment was only slightly disrupted and there was no visible effect on actin localization at the IS. Overexpression of Lis1 or expression of Lis1 deletion mutants interfered with MTOC translocation and interfered with dynein recruitment, while actin was still localized at the IS. However, studies of calcium flux in response to T cell receptor (TcR) stimulation showed that these mutant-expressing cells had deficiencies in cell signaling from the TcR. These results suggest that MTOC translocation and SV clustering are mediated by dynein but likely involve different dynein-binding proteins.