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Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Nov;12(11):749-61. doi: 10.1038/nri3307. Epub 2012 Oct 19.

Transcriptional control of effector and memory CD8+ T cell differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, 300 Cedar Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


During an infection, T cells can differentiate into multiple types of effector and memory T cells, which help to mediate pathogen clearance and provide long-term protective immunity. These cells can vary in their phenotype, function and location, and in their long-term fate in terms of their ability to populate the memory T cell pool. Over the past decade, the signalling pathways and transcriptional programmes that regulate the formation of heterogeneous populations of effector and memory CD8(+) T cells have started to be characterized, and this Review discusses the major advances in these areas.

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