T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are at the forefront of clinical treatment of cancers. Still, the nanoscale organization of CARs at the interface of CAR-Ts with target cells, which is essential for TCR-mediated T cell activation, remains poorly understood. Here, we studied the nanoscale organization of CARs targeting CD138 proteoglycans in such fixed and live interfaces, generated optimally for single-molecule localization microscopy. CARs showed significant self-association in nanoclusters that was enhanced in interfaces with on-target cells (SKOV-3, CAG, FaDu) relative to negative cells (OVCAR-3). CARs also segregated more efficiently from the abundant membrane phosphatase CD45 in CAR-T cells forming such interfaces. CAR clustering and segregation from CD45 correlated with the effector functions of Ca++ influx and target cell killing. Our results shed new light on the nanoscale organization of CARs on the surfaces of CAR-Ts engaging on- and off-target cells, and its potential significance for CAR-Ts’ efficacy and safety.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by 1761/17 from the Israeli Science Foundation and the Minerva Center on Cell Intelligence.
© 2023 by the authors.
- adoptive cell immunotherapy
- immune synapse
- super resolution microscopy