MCL1 enhances the survival of CD8+ memory T cells after viral infection

Jingang Gui, Zhuting Hu, Ching Yi Tsai, Tian Ma, Yan Song, Amanda Morales, Li Hao Huang, Ethan Dmitrovsky, Ruth W. Craig, Edward J. Usherwood

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3 Scopus citations


Viral infection results in the generation of massive numbers of activated effector CD8+ T cells that recognize viral components. Most of these are short-lived effector T cells (SLECs) that die after clearance of the virus. However, a small proportion of this population survives and forms antigen-specific memory precursor effector cells (MPECs), which ultimately develop into memory cells. These can participate in a recall response upon reexposure to antigen even at protracted times postinfection. Here, antiapoptotic myeloid cell leukemia 1 (MCL1) was found to prolong survival upon T cell stimulation, and mice expressing human MCL1 as a transgene exhibited a skewing in the proportion of CD8+ T cells, away from SLECs toward MPECs, during the acute phase of vaccinia virus infection. A higher frequency and total number of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells were observed in MCL1 transgenic mice. These findings show that MCL1 can shape the makeup of the CD8+ T cell response, promoting the formation of long-term memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2405-2414
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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    Gui, J., Hu, Z., Tsai, C. Y., Ma, T., Song, Y., Morales, A., Huang, L. H., Dmitrovsky, E., Craig, R. W., & Usherwood, E. J. (2015). MCL1 enhances the survival of CD8+ memory T cells after viral infection. Journal of virology, 89(4), 2405-2414.