Journal article

Transforming growth factor-b-regulated mTOR activity preserves cellular metabolism to maintain long-term T cell responses in chronic infection

Sarah S Gabriel, Carlson Tsui, David Chisanga, Flora Weber, Manuela Llano-Leon, Patrick M Gubser, Laurent Bartholin, Fernando Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, Nicholas D Huntington, Wei Shi, Daniel T Utzschneider, Axel Kallies

IMMUNITY | CELL PRESS | Published : 2021

Abstract

Antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in chronic viral infections and tumors functionally deteriorate, a process known as exhaustion. Exhausted T cells are sustained by precursors of exhausted (Tpex) cells that self-renew while continuously generating exhausted effector (Tex) cells. However, it remains unknown how Tpex cells maintain their functionality. Here, we demonstrate that Tpex cells sustained mitochondrial fitness, including high spare respiratory capacity, while Tex cells deteriorated metabolically over time. Tpex cells showed early suppression of mTOR kinase signaling but retained the ability to activate this pathway in response to antigen receptor signals. Early transient mTOR inhibition ..

View full abstract

Grants

Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)


Awarded by University of Queensland, a NHMRC of Australia


Awarded by Cure Cancer Australia with the assistance of Cancer Australia


Awarded by Melanoma Research Alliance (USA), the Cancer Council of Victoria


Awarded by NHMRC


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Teisha Mason for technical support and members of the Kallies lab and Sammy Bedoui for discussions. This work was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, project grant no. 1085151 and fellowship no. 1139607 [to A.K.] and ideas grant no. 2003942 [to S.G.]), the Swiss National Science Foundation (fellowships to S.S.G., P.M.G., and D.T.U.), and the Novartis Foundation for Medical-Biological Research (fellowship to S.S.G.). D.T.U. is a Special Fellow of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. F.S.-F.-G. is funded by the University of Queensland, a NHMRC of Australia grant (1140406), and a grant awarded through the Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme and funded by Cure Cancer Australia with the assistance of Cancer Australia (1158085). N.D.H. is funded by the Melanoma Research Alliance (USA), the Cancer Council of Victoria (1145730), and the NHMRC (1124907, 1124784, and 1124788). W.S. is funded by a Walter and Eliza Hall Institute Centenary Fellowship funded by a donation from CSL Ltd. The internship of M.L.-L. was funded by the National University of Colombia, and F.W. was supported by the Elite Network of Bavaria (Germany). We acknowledge the Melbourne Cytometry Platform for the provision of flow cytometry services and the NIH Tetramer Facility for providing tetramers.