The adaptive immune system relies on B and T lymphocytes to ensure a specific and long-lasting protection of an individual from a wide range of potential pathogenic hits. Lymphocytes are highly potent and efficient in eliminating pathogens. However, lymphocyte activation must be tightly regulated to prevent incorrect activity that could result in immunopathologies, such as autoimmune disorders or cancers. Comprehensive insight into the molecular events underlying lymphocyte activation is of enormous importance to better understand the function of the immune system. It provides the basis to design therapeutics to regulate lymphocyte activation in pathological scenarios. Most reported defects in immunopathologies affect the regulation of intracellular signaling pathways. This highlights the importance of these molecules, which control lymphocyte activation and homeostasis impacting lymphocyte tolerance to self, cytokine production and responses to infections. Most evidence for these defects comes from studies of disease models in genetically engineered mice. There is an increasing number of studies focusing on lymphocytes derived from patients which supports these findings. Many indirectly involved proteins are emerging as unexpected regulators of the immune system. In this mini-review, we focus in proteins that regulate plasma membrane (PM) compartmentalization and thereby impact the steady state and the activation of immunoreceptors, namely the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) and the B cell antigen receptor (BCR). Some of these membrane proteins are shown to be involved in immune abnormalities; others, however, are not thoroughly investigated in the context of immune pathogenesis. We aim to highlight them and stimulate future research avenues.

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