Research Briefing

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  • Exhausted effector T cells accumulate in tumors and are the intended targets of cancer immunotherapy. New data suggest that upon infiltration and subsequent exhaustion in the tumor microenvironment, these T cells can take on an immunosuppressive function — and work against the immune response to cancer.

    Research Briefing
  • Sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) signaling regulates cellular lipid homeostasis. We discovered that SREBP signaling in B cells is crucial for antibody responses and the generation of germinal centers and B cell memory compartments in response to vaccination. These results provide mechanistic insights that couple sterol metabolism to the quality and longevity of humoral immunity.

    Research Briefing
  • We isolated CD4+ T cell clones from healthcare workers infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first COVID-19 wave and identified 21 epitopes across three viral proteins: spike, membrane and nucleoprotein. Focusing on spike protein, for seven of ten epitopes mutated in variants of concern, we found that T cell recognition was impaired.

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  • Cohousing pet-store mice with laboratory mice leads to the natural transfer of microbes and subsequent inflammation in laboratory mice. Lung group 2 innate lymphoid cells — rapid responders to airway allergens — are transiently inhibited by inflammatory signals, but their activity recovers once the active infection subsides.

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  • By combining single-cell mRNA sequencing and a genetic pulse–chase mouse model, we identified multiple subsets of mouse long-lived plasma cells and showed that these cells can originate from diverse developmental routes.

    Research Briefing
  • A stage-specific enhancer augments Notch1 signaling from the early thymic progenitor (ETP) through double-negative thymocyte stages. Enhanced Notch1 activity is required for T cell lineage differentiation at the later end of this developmental interval, but Notch1 also suppresses precocious T lineage commitment in ETPs and promotes their expansion as multi-lineage progenitors.

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  • We identified the transmembrane protein CMTM4 as an essential component of the IL-17 receptor. CMTM4 is required for membrane expression of IL-17 receptor subunit C and activation of IL-17A pro-inflammatory signaling. Lack of CMTM4 largely protects mice from experimental psoriasis, which suggests that targeting CMTM4 might alleviate IL-17-mediated autoimmunity.

    Research Briefing
  • Immunotherapeutic targeting of the surface glycoprotein CD19 has markedly improved outcomes in patients with relapsed and refractory B cell progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Genome-wide CRISPR–Cas9 screening identifies modulators of CD19 mRNA processing that affect the abundance of the surface protein in human B cell leukemia cells, with the potential to improve antigen-directed immunotherapy efficacy.

    Research Briefing
  • During T cell activation, tRNA-m1A ‘writers’ TRMT61A and TRMT6 are upregulated to modify a group of early tRNA species and promote efficient translation of certain pre-cell-cycling proteins, thus ensuring rapid T cell proliferation and a timely adaptive immune response.

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  • Through access to healthy donors’ bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples cryopreserved before the COVID-19 pandemic, we discovered CD4+ and CD8+ T cells able to cross-recognize SARS-CoV-2 among the airway tissue-resident memory pool. Pre-pandemic donors with detectable SARS-CoV-2-cross-reactive T cells in their airways also had stronger immunity to human seasonal coronaviruses.

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  • Intestinal group 3 innate lymphoid (ILC3) cells exhibit increased mobility in response to flagellin-mediated inflammation. This ‘patrolling’ behavior promotes IL-22 diffusion and prevents intestinal epithelial cell death. Enhanced ILC3 dynamics rely on environmental cues and suggest a prominent ILC3 tissue adaptation that reinforces intestinal barrier integrity.

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  • Tissue-destructive fibroblasts in arthritis are driven by the transcription factor ETS1. Analysis of a cross-tissue, single-cell fibroblast dataset and genetic loss-of-function approaches further suggest that ETS1-expressing fibroblasts have a universal role in pathological tissue remodeling in multiple diseases, including arthritis, colitis and cancer.

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  • Deacetylation of specific lysine residues in the DNA-binding domain of the transcription factors IRF3 and IRF7 by SIRT1 is necessary for liquid–liquid phase separation and transactivation of type I interferons. SIRT1 agonists partially restored the impaired innate immune responses in senescent cells and aged mice, suggestive of a possible strategy for preventing innate immunosenescence.

    Research Briefing
  • The response of circulating effector CD4 T cells to type I interferons (IFN-I) correlates with the overall survival of patients with cancer receiving immune checkpoint inhibition. IFN-I responsiveness is already epigenetically encoded before treatment initiation, highlighting a deterministic, clinically relevant feature that can predict therapeutic efficacy.

    Research Briefing
  • Crystal structures of the immune checkpoint protein LAG3 reveal critical binding interfaces for inhibitory antibodies and cellular ligands, such as FGL1 and MHC class II molecules. These structures provide insight into the dimeric assembly of LAG3 proteins on the surface of T cells and suggest FGL1-induced clustering as an immunomodulatory mechanism.

    Research Briefing
  • A single-cell sequencing study shows that the human memory B cell repertoire is dominated by large IgM, IgG2 and IgA immunoglobulin families, whereas IgG1 families, including those specific for recall antigens, are of a small size. Multi-year analysis shows that memory B cell families are highly stable and that plasmablasts of T cell–independent and T cell–dependent isotypes are produced in a recurrent manner.

    Research Briefing
  • Using high-resolution molecular and optical mapping of the three-dimensional genome, we found that the transcription factor TCF-1 is linked to changes in the structure of topologically associating domains in T cell progenitors that lead to interactions between previously insulated regulatory elements and target genes at late stages of T cell development.

    Research Briefing
  • This study shows that systemic hypoxia alters the response of the bone marrow to inflammation by reducing type I interferon signaling and suppressing the accumulation of monocyte-derived macrophages in the lung. These events, in turn, hinder the resolution of lung inflammation.

    Research Briefing