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Nat Immunol. 2011 Apr;12(4):295-303. doi: 10.1038/ni.2005. Epub 2011 Feb 27.

The kinase mTOR regulates the differentiation of helper T cells through the selective activation of signaling by mTORC1 and mTORC2.

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1
Sidney-Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Research Center, Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

The kinase mTOR has emerged as an important regulator of the differentiation of helper T cells. Here we demonstrate that differentiation into the T(H)1 and T(H)17 subsets of helper T cells was selectively regulated by signaling from mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) that was dependent on the small GTPase Rheb. Rheb-deficient T cells failed to generate T(H)1 and T(H)17 responses in vitro and in vivo and did not induce classical experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). However, they retained their ability to become T(H)2 cells. Alternatively, when mTORC2 signaling was deleted from T cells, they failed to generate T(H)2 cells in vitro and in vivo but preserved their ability to become T(H)1 and T(H)17 cells. Our data identify mechanisms by which two distinct signaling pathways downstream of mTOR regulate helper cell fate in different ways. These findings define a previously unknown paradigm that links T cell differentiation with selective metabolic signaling pathways.

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PMID:
21358638
PMCID:
PMC3077821
DOI:
10.1038/ni.2005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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