Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Academic Editor: Antonio Sechi
Following antigen recognition, T lymphocytes undergo strong actin cytoskeletal rearrangements. These play a crucial role in the molecular reorganization at the contact site between the T lymphocyte and the antigen presenting cell, termed the immunological synapse. Moreover, they are necessary for T cell activation that leads to cytokine secretion, T cell proliferation and effector function. Little is known on how membrane and signaling molecules interact with the actin cytoskeleton during these processes. Here we review the function of the ERM family of membrane-microfilament linkers, making emphasis on the role of these proteins in T lymphocyte physiology. We discuss how ERM proteins are involved in membrane reorganization during T lymphocyte polarization and immune synapse formation, and how these proteins may contribute to T cell receptor-mediated intracellular signaling that leads to T cell activation.