The role of epigenetics in the acquisition and maintenance of effector function in virus-specific CD8 T cells

Matthew R Olson, Brendan E. Russ, Peter C Doherty, Stephen J. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


CD8+ T cells are critical for protecting the body from infectious disease. To achieve this protection, CD8+ T cells must undergo a highly involved process of differentiation that involves the activation of näve/quiescent cells followed by robust rounds of cell division and the acquisition of effector functions that mediate viral clearance. After the pathogen is eliminated, a small number of these cells survive into long-lived memory and maintain the capacity to respond rapidly and reacquire effector function after secondary exposure to their cognate antigen. This review focuses on how CD8+ T cells acquire and regulate effector functions and how the capacity to produce effector molecules is maintained into memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-526
Number of pages8
JournalIUBMB Life
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • CD8 T cells
  • Cytokines
  • Epigenetics; influenza
  • Granzymes
  • Perforin

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