Dynamics and spatial organization of Kv1.3 at the immunological synapse of human CD4+ T cells.
Capera J., Jainarayanan A., Navarro-Pérez M., Valvo S., Demetriou P., Depoil D., Estadella I., Kvalvaag A., Felce JH., Felipe A., Dustin ML.
Formation of the immunological synapse (IS) is a key event during initiation of an adaptive immune response to a specific antigen. During this process, a T cell and an antigen presenting cell form a stable contact that allows the T cell to integrate both internal and external stimuli in order to decide whether to activate. The threshold for T cell activation depends on the strength and frequency of the calcium (Ca2+) signaling induced by antigen recognition, and it must be tightly regulated to avoid undesired harm to healthy cells. Potassium (K+) channels are recruited to the IS to maintain the negative membrane potential required to sustain Ca2+ entry. However, the precise localization of K+ channels within the IS remains unknown. Here, we visualized the dynamic subsynaptic distribution of Kv1.3, the main voltage-gated potassium channel in human T cells. Upon T cell receptor engagement, Kv1.3 polarized toward the synaptic cleft and diffused throughout the F-actin rich distal compartment of the synaptic interface-an effect enhanced by CD2-CD58 corolla formation. As the synapse matured, Kv1.3 clusters were internalized at the center of the IS and released in extracellular vesicles. We propose a model in which specific distribution of Kv1.3 within the synapse indirectly regulates the channel function and that this process is limited through Kv1.3 internalization and release in extracellular vesicles.