Mapping the development of infection-fighting immune cells

LA JOLLA—The immune system protects the body from invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, or tumors, with its intricate network of proteins, cells, and organs. Specialized immune cells, called cytotoxic T cells, can develop into short-lived effector cells that kill infected or cancerous cells within our bodies. A small portion of those effector cells remain after an infection and become longer-lived memory cells, which “remember” infections and respond when infections reappear. But little was known about what influences cytotoxic T cells to transform into these effector and memory T cell subtypes.

Cytotoxic T cell (purple) deciding whether to become a memory cell (blue) or effector cell (pink) subtype. The cBAF complex (green) and Arid1a subunit open the doors for both cell fate options.
Cytotoxic T cell (purple) deciding whether to become a memory cell (blue) or effector cell (pink) subtype. The…
Click here to view original post