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Trends Immunol. 2008 Apr;29(4):179-85. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Mar 6.

T-cell fate and function: PKC-theta and beyond.

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  • 1Institute of Integrative Biology, Molecular Biomedicine, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, CH-8952 Zurich, Switzerland.


The serine/threonine-specific protein kinase C-theta (PKC-theta) is a core component of the immunological synapse that was shown in vitro to play a central role in the activation of T cells after T cell receptor (TCR) and co-stimulatory molecule engagement. In recent years, a series of in vivo studies have shown that the situation is far more complex; specifically, PKC-theta signaling is differentially required for Th1, Th2, Th17 and CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell responses. These studies highlight the combination of signals that directly regulate T-cell differentiation and effector responses. In this review, we highlight recent in vivo studies investigating PKC-theta function and discuss this in the context of how the integration of extrinsic signals determines T cell fate and function.

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