Acquisition of Mature Functional Responsiveness in T Cells: Programming for Function via Signaling

  • Ellen V. Rothenberg
  • Dan Chen
  • Rochelle A. Diamond
  • Mariam Dohadwala
  • Thomas J. Novak
  • Patricia M. White
  • Julia A. Yang-Snyder
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 292)


Over fifteen years ago it was recognized that peripheral T lymphocytes are heterogeneous in their abilities to carry out particular functions. Distinct functional activities are associated with distinct cell-surface phenotypes.1 Thus, CD4+ cells are greatly enriched for the ability to provide growth and differentiation factors for other T and B cells, whereas CD8+ cells are correspondingly enriched for the ability to kill foreign or pathologically altered target cells. At the molecular level, we now understand that each of these functions reflects the transcriptional activation of particular sets of “response” genes, i.e., those encoding lymphokines and/or cytolytic molecules, when triggered by recognition of a foreign antigen. Thus, different T-cell subsets are defined by the fact that they respond to antigen by induction of different sets of genes. As all of these subsets are derived from common precursors, developing T cells must not only mature but also diverge in their properties in a regulated way. In this paper, we will consider how different programs of transcriptional inducibility become allocated to different sets of cells.


Immature Thymocyte Killer Function Functional Lineage Major Histocompatibility Complex Ligand Cytolytic Molecule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen V. Rothenberg
    • 1
  • Dan Chen
    • 1
  • Rochelle A. Diamond
    • 1
  • Mariam Dohadwala
    • 1
  • Thomas J. Novak
    • 1
  • Patricia M. White
    • 1
  • Julia A. Yang-Snyder
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of BiologyCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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