Autophagy in T-cell differentiation, survival and memory

Liqing Wang, Jugal Kishore Das, Anil Kumar, Hao Yun Peng, Yijie Ren, Xiaofang Xiong, Jin Ming Yang, Jianxun Song

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, autophagy has emerged as a critical regulatory mechanism of the immune system through critically controlling various aspects of T cell biology and determining the fate of different T cell subsets. Autophagy maintains T cell development and survival by regulating the degradation of organelles and apoptotic proteins. The autophagic process also impacts the formation of memory T cells. Alteration of autophagy in T cells may lead to a variety of pathological conditions such as inflammation, autoimmune diseases and cancer. In this review, we discuss how autophagy impacts T cell differentiation, survival and memory, and its implication in immunotherapy for various diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-360
Number of pages10
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Health Grant R01AI121180 and R21AI128325 to JS, and R01CA221867 to JMY and JS.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology, Inc.


  • T cells.
  • autophagy
  • differentiation
  • immunotherapy
  • memory
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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