Cytotoxic T cells are a central part of our immune system. In the course of chronic viral infections or tumor diseases, a so-called "exhaustion" of these T cells sets in, which limits their ability to control viruses or tumors. By administering checkpoint inhibitors, this exhaustion can be at least partially reversed, which has revolutionized the therapy of many cancers.
The research group led by Dr. Veit Buchholz of the Technical University of Munich, in collaboration with the laboratory of Professor Axel Kallies of the University of Melbourne, now shows that the response of the immune system to checkpoint inhibitors, as well as the long-term maintenance of immune responses against chronic viral infections, is mediated by a tiny subset of stem cell-like T cells characterized by the transcription factor MYB, which is also essential for bone marrow stem cells.
Tsui, C., Kretschmer, L., Rapelius, S., Gabriel, S. S., Chisanga, D., Knöpper, K., Utzschneider, D. T., Nüssing, S., Liao, Y., Mason, T., Torres, S. V., Wilcox, S. A., Kanev, K., Jarosch, S., Leube, J., Nutt, S. L., Zehn, D., Parish, I. A., Kastenmüller, W., Shi, W., Buchholz, V. R. & Kallies, A.*
MYB orchestrates T cell exhaustion and response to checkpoint inhibition. Nature 1–7 (2022).
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