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Science. 2003 Nov 7;302(5647):1041-3.

Control of effector CD8+ T cell function by the transcription factor Eomesodermin.

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  • 1Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, and Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Activated CD8+ T cells play a critical role in host defense against viruses, intracellular microbes, and tumors. It is not clear if a key regulatory transcription factor unites the effector functions of CD8+ T cells. We now show that Eomesodermin (Eomes), a paralogue of T-bet, is induced in effector CD8+ T cells in vitro and in vivo. Ectopic expression of Eomes was sufficient to invoke attributes of effector CD8+ T cells, including interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), perforin, and granzyme B. Loss-of-function analysis suggests Eomes may also be necessary for full effector differentiation of CD8+ T cells. We suggest that Eomesodermin is likely to complement the actions of T-bet and act as a key regulatory gene in the development of cell-mediated immunity.

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