eEF-2K has important roles in stress responses and cellular metabolism. We report here a previously unappreciated but critical role of eEF-2K in regulating the fate and cytocidal activity of CD8+ T cells. CD8+ T cells from eEF-2K KO mice were more proliferative but had lower survival than their wild-type counterparts after their activation, followed by occurrence of premature senescence and exhaustion. eEF-2K KO CD8+ T cells were more metabolically active and showed hyperactivation of the Akt-mTOR-S6K pathway. Loss of eEF-2K substantially impaired the activity of CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, the antitumor efficacy and tumor infiltration of the CAR-CD8+ T cells lacking eEF-2K were notably reduced as compared to the control CAR-CD8+ T cells. Thus, eEF-2K is critically required for sustaining the viability and function of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, and therapeutic augmentation of this kinase may be exploited as a novel approach to reinforcing CAR-T therapy against cancer.
|State||Published - Feb 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank S.-H. Chen at the Houston Methodist Research Institute for the imaging mass cytometry analysis. This work was supported by NIH grants R01CA221867 (to J.-M.Y. and J.S.), R01AI121180, and R21AI128325 and Department of Defense grant LC210150 (to J.S.)
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