Publication — IRIC
TMEM16F mediates bystander TCR-CD3 membrane dissociation at the immunological synapse and potentiates T cell activation.
Electrostatic interactions regulate many aspects of T cell receptor (TCR) activity, including enabling the dynamic binding of the TCR-associated CD3ε and CD3ζ chains to anionic lipids in the plasma membrane to prevent spontaneous phosphorylation. Substantial changes in the electrostatic potential of the plasma membrane occur at the immunological synapse, the interface between a T cell and an antigen-presenting cell. Here, we investigated how the electrostatic interactions that promote dynamic membrane binding of the TCR-CD3 cytoplasmic domains are modulated during signaling and affect T cell activation. We found that Ca2+-dependent activation of the phosphatidylserine scramblase TMEM16F, which was previously implicated in T cell activation, reduced the electrostatic potential of the plasma membrane during immunological synapse formation by locally redistributing phosphatidylserine. This, in turn, increased the dissociation of bystander TCR-CD3 cytoplasmic domains from the plasma membrane and enhanced TCR-dependent signaling and consequently T cell activation. This study establishes the molecular basis for the role of TMEM16F in bystander TCR-induced signal amplification and identifies enhancement of TMEM16F function as a potential therapeutic strategy for promoting T cell activation.