Molecular interaction and transmembrane signal transducing events generate a very dynamic and ever changing «pattern» in the plasma membranes. Lymphocytes, the key functional elements of the immune system, are eminently suited to be the primary targets to investigate these proximity, mobility, or other physical-chemical changes in their plasma membranes. Recently, a number of experiments suggested that processed peptides from antigens can bind specific components of MHC molecules (Elliott et al., 1991 ). This is certainly a way to alter their structure. Cell surface patterns of topological nature, assembly and disassembly of oligomeric receptor structure like the IL-2 receptor have been investigated by sophisticated biophysical techniques. The dynamic changes in the two-dimensional cell surface pattern and intramolecular conformational changes within this «larger» macro-pattern may have a strong regulatory role in signal transducing and intercellular recognition processes. Recent data on these problems are presented together with brief and critical discussions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy