The MTOCs are present in all eukaryotic cells. In animal somatic cells, the MTOC function is played by a centrosome, which contains centrioles and PCM. The traditional view is that the MTOC is responsible for the organization of microtubular structures (the intracellular network, cilia, and flagella) in interphase cells, and the formation of the mitotic and meiotic spindle apparatus which is required for the partitioning of chromosomes in dividing cells. Recent evidence suggests that MTOC also plays a key role in the engagement of molecular motors, directional transport of granules, and polarization of subcellular structures and molecules. All of these functions are crucial for targeted cytotoxicity and the regulation of immune cells. In this review, we focus on the ultrastructural and molecular aspects of MTOCs in various aspects of immune cell functions, with specific emphasis on the formation of the IS and targeted cell killing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-430
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Centrosome
  • Immune response
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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