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Recent Publication

Glycerol monolaurate induces filopodia formation by disrupting the association between LAT and SLP-76 microclusters


Glycerol monolaurate (GML) is a monoglyceride with potent antimicrobial properties that suppresses T cell receptor (TCR)-induced signaling and T cell effector function. Actin rearrangement is needed for the interaction of T cells with antigen-presenting cells and for migration to sites of infection. Because of the critical role actin rearrangement plays in T cell effector function, we analyzed the effect of GML on the rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton after TCR activation. We found that GML-treated human T cells were less adherent than untreated T cells and did not form actin ring structures but instead developed numerous inappropriate actin-mediated filopodia. The formation of these filopodia was not due to disruption of TCR-proximal regulators of actin or microtubule polymerization. Instead, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy demonstrated mislocalization of actin nucleation protein Arp2 microclusters, but not those containing the adaptor proteins SLP-76 and WASp, or the actin nucleation protein ARPC3, which are necessary for TCR-induced actin rearrangement. Additionally, SLP-76 microclusters colocalized with WASp and WAVE microclusters but not with LAT. Together, our data suggest that GML alters actin cytoskeletal rearrangements and identify diverse functions for GML as a T cell-suppressive agent.

  • Zhang MS, Tran PM, Wolff AJ, Tremblay MM, Fosdick MG, Houtman JCD