Research ArticleT CELLS

Modulation of asymmetric cell division as a mechanism to boost CD8+ T cell memory

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Science Immunology  12 Apr 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 34, eaav1730
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aav1730

RAPping their way to stemness

One interesting property of stem cells is their ability to undergo asymmetric cell division (ACD), which allows one of the daughter cells to retain stemness, whereas the other daughter cell becomes more differentiated. Akin to stem cells, memory cells in the immune system including memory T cells have the ability to undergo ACD. Borsa et al. have developed a strategy to enhance the ability of memory T cells to undergo ACD. They show that transient inhibition of the mTOR pathway using rapamycin enhances the memory potential of CD8+ T cells and their ability to undergo ACD. Developing methods to enhance T cell memory remains critical on several fronts, from vaccination to T cell–centric immunotherapies.