T cell receptor (TCR) interacting molecule (TRIM), a novel disulfide-linked dimer associated with the TCR-CD3-zeta complex, recruits intracellular signaling proteins to the plasma membrane.
The molecular mechanisms regulating recruitment of intracellular signaling proteins like growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 (Grb2), phospholipase Cgamma1, or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) to the plasma membrane after stimulation of the T cell receptor (TCR)-CD3-zeta complex are not very well understood. We describe here purification, tandem mass spectrometry sequencing, molecular cloning, and biochemical characterization of a novel transmembrane adaptor protein which associates and comodulates with the TCR-CD3-zeta complex in human T lymphocytes and T cell lines. This protein was termed T cell receptor interacting molecule (TRIM). TRIM is a disulfide-linked homodimer which is comprised of a short extracellular domain of 8 amino acids, a 19-amino acid transmembrane region, and a 159-amino acid cytoplasmic tail. In its intracellular domain, TRIM contains several tyrosine-based signaling motifs that could be involved in SH2 domain-mediated protein-protein interactions. Indeed, after T cell activation, TRIM becomes rapidly phosphorylated on tyrosine residues and then associates with the 85-kD regulatory subunit of PI3-kinase via an YxxM motif. Thus, TRIM represents a TCR-associated transmembrane adaptor protein which is likely involved in targeting of intracellular signaling proteins to the plasma membrane after triggering of the TCR.