Using reconstituted systems to understand the composition-dependent molecular clutch between T cell signaling condensates and actin.

The cell plasma membrane and its underlying actin cytoskeleton constitute an active composite system that acts as a platform for multiple tasks such as signal processing, cargo uptake or shape transitions to name a few. Using reconstituted, minimal systems, we expllore how acto-myosin activity drives membrane protein dynamics and vice versa how membrane proteins can affect the actin network organization. Studying LAT-based biomolecular condensates that form during T cell activation, we found that Nck and WASP act as a molecular clutch with actin and that changes in the condensate composition could enable their movement by different actin networks.