Role of lipid rafts in T cells

Sunil Thomas*, Rajeev S. Kumar, Teodor D. Brumeanu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The plasma membrane of T cells is made up of a combination of phospholipids and proteins organized as glycolipoprotein microdomains termed lipid rafts. The structural assembly of lipid rafts was investigated by various physical and biochemical assays. Depending on the differentiation status of T cells, the lipid rafts seclude various protein receptors instrumental for the early T cell signaling, cytoskeleton reorganization, protein and membrane trafficking, and the entry of infectious organisms into the cells. This review article summarizes recent information on the assembly of lipid rafts in plasma membrane of T cells and their signaling output in mature and thymic precursors towards cell growth and differentiation, and possible modalities by which the function of lipid rafts can be altered by drugs and T cell ligands. The concept of using lipid rafts as a target for pharmaceutical compounds and biological T cell ligands to ultimately alter the T cell function is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalArchivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Immune modulation
  • Lipid rafts
  • T cells
  • Thymic selection


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