Metabolism, migration and memory in cytotoxic T cells

David Finlay, Doreen A. Cantrell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    196 Citations (Scopus)


    The transcriptional and metabolic programmes that control CD8(+) T cells are regulated by a diverse network of serine/threonine kinases. The view has been that the kinases AKT and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) control T cell metabolism. Here, we challenge this paradigm and discuss an alternative role for these kinases in CD8(+) T cells, namely to control cell migration. Another emerging concept is that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) family members control T cell metabolism and determine the effector versus memory fate of CD8(+) T cells. We speculate that one link between metabolism and immunological memory is provided by kinases that originally evolved to control T cell metabolism and have subsequently acquired the ability to control the expression of key transcription factors that regulate CD8(+) T cell effector function and migratory capacity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-117
    Number of pages9
    JournalNature Reviews Immunology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • Activated protein-kinase
    • Forkhead transcription factor
    • Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase
    • Phosphoinositide 3-kinase
    • Immunological synapse
    • Glucose deprivation
    • Mediated cytolysis
    • Signaling pathways
    • Effector functions
    • Energy metabolism


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