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Nat Rev Immunol. 2014 Apr;14(4):261-70. doi: 10.1038/nri3625. Epub 2014 Mar 7.

New roles for cyclin-dependent kinases in T cell biology: linking cell division and differentiation.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, USA; and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, Abramson Research Center, 3615 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


The proliferation of a few antigen-reactive lymphocytes into a large population of effector cells is a fundamental property of adaptive immunity. The cell division that fuels this process is driven by signals from antigen, co-stimulatory molecules and growth factor receptors, and is controlled by the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) cascade. In this Opinion article, we discuss how the CDK cascade provides one potential link between cell division and differentiation through the phosphorylation of immunologically relevant transcription factors, and how components of this pathway might ultimately participate in the decision between tolerance and immunity.

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