The aggregating protein called agrin is a component of two quite different types of synapses: synapses in the neuromuscular junction and the immunological synapse between T cells and antigen-presenting cells. In both systems, membrane proteins cluster in "rafts" at the point of contact, creating a signaling synapse. In the 10 May issue of Science, Adil A. Khan and colleagues show that agrin, a protein required to regulate the formation of these rafts at neuromuscular junctions, also influences raft clustering at the immunological synapse. This may "represent a general mechanism by which functional concentration of signaling molecules is achieved," say the authors.

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Papers

  1. . Immunology. Agrin--a bridge between the nervous and immune systems. Science. 2001 Jun 1;292(5522):1667-8. PubMed.

Primary Papers

  1. . Physiological regulation of the immunological synapse by agrin. Science. 2001 Jun 1;292(5522):1681-6. PubMed.