SFB 1054 Seminar - Monika Wolkers
Title: T cell effector function in health and disease: the critical role of post-transcriptional events
T cells are critical to fight infections and to clear tumor cells. A critical feature of CD8+ T cell effector function is the production of effector molecules such as IFN-g, TNF-a, and IL-2. Effective cytokine production depends on transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. How these mechanisms feed into the production is however unresolved. Here I will discuss the cytokine-specific regulatory networks and TCR-dependent intracellular pathways that tailor the kinetics and the magnitude of cytokine production upon activation. Furthermore, memory T cells can instantaneously respond to pathogenic insults, which is empowered by persistent expression of cytokine mRNA. I will show that the RNA binding protein ZFP36L2 blocks translation of cytokines from the preformed mRNA in memory T cells, a process that is critical to keep memory T cells in a state of alertness while preventing undesirable cytokine production in the absence of infection. Lastly, I will talk about the stochastic responses of T cells upon activation, and how this can be visualized by Flow FISH that allows to simultaneously measure cytokine mRNA and protein expression on a single level.
Host: Dietmar Zehn (B14)