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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02520

Development of unconventional T cells controlled by microRNA

  • 1Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

Post-transcriptional gene regulation through microRNA (miRNA) has emerged as a major control mechanism of multiple biological processes, including development and function of T cells. T cells are vital components of the immune system, with conventional T cells playing a central role in adaptive immunity and unconventional T cells having additional functions reminiscent of both innate and adaptive immunity, such as involvement in stress responses and tissue homeostasis. Unconventional T cells encompass cells expressing semi-invariant T cell receptors (TCRs), such as invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) and Mucosal-Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells. Additionally, some T cells with diverse TCR repertoires, including T cells, intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) and regulatory T (Treg) cells, share some functional and/or developmental features with their semi-invariant unconventional counterparts. Unconventional T cells are particularly sensitive to disruption of miRNA function, both globally and on the individual miRNA level. Here, we review the role of miRNA in the development and function of unconventional T cells from an iNKT-centric point of view. The function of single miRNAs can provide important insights into shared and individual pathways for the formation of different unconventional T cell subsets.

Keywords: Thymus, T cell, MAIT cell, NKT cell, Treg cell, gdT cell, microRNA, MiR-181

Received: 02 Aug 2019; Accepted: 10 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Winter and Krueger. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Andreas Krueger, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, 60325, Hesse, Germany, andreas.krueger@kgu.de