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J Immunol. 2011 Jan 15;186(2):775-83. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1000094. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Kruppel-like factor 2 is required for trafficking but not quiescence in postactivated T cells.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Center for Immunology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA.


The transcription factor Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) was proposed to regulate genes involved in cell cycle entry and T cell trafficking; however, the physiological role of its expression in postactivated T cells is not well defined. Previous studies suggested that the cytokines IL-2 and IL-15 differentially regulate KLF2 re-expression in postactivation T cells and that these cytokines also influence effector versus memory T cell differentiation. Using conditional and inducible KLF2-knockout model systems, we tested the specific role of KLF2 expression in activated CD8(+) T cells cultured with these cytokines. KLF2 was required for effective transcription of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1P(1)) and CD62L in postactivation T cells. However, although different cytokines dramatically altered the expression of cell-cycle-related genes, endogenous KLF2 had a minimal impact. Correspondingly, KLF2-deficient T cells showed dysregulated trafficking but not altered proliferative characteristics following in vivo responses to Ag. Thus, our data help to define KLF2-dependent and -independent aspects of activated CD8(+) T cell differentiation and argue against a physiological role in cell cycle regulation.

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