About this Research Topic
The serendipitous discovery of the gamma chain of the T Cell Receptor (TCR) in the mid-1980s was promptly followed by the identification of gammadelta (γδ) T cells as a conserved third lineage of receptor-rearranging immune cells, along with B cells and αβ T cells. In the decade that followed, intense efforts were dedicated to the study of all aspects of the biology of these cells, ranging from comprehensive phenotypic studies, to their role in infection and tumor surveillance. In recent years, several groups have further demonstrated that γδ T cells make multiple unique and critical contributions to immune responses, and that they have promising potential as therapeutic tools. While these aspects have been extensively characterized via the use of a wide variety of animal models and in vitro studies, the molecular factors governing the development and function of γδ T cells still remain poorly understood. For instance, ligands for the γδ TCR are yet to be identified in most cases.
The fact that γδ T cells only account for a small fraction of peripheral T cells in most species and instead, preferentially reside within tissues, as well as the specific diversification of this subset between species, have hampered their study. Recent technological advancements in genetics, high-throughput analyses and imaging have, however, enabled improved characterization of these cells in recent years. In addition, the last decade has been defined by the identification of butyrophilin(-like) proteins as critical regulators of γδ T cell biology, starting with the characterization of Skint1 as a key determinant for the selection of murine Vγ5Vδ1 T cells.
This Research Topic will be dedicated to an overview of the recent progress in the study of the molecular factors involved in all steps of γδ T cell biology, from development to function, including:
1. Butyrophilin, Butyrophilin-like and Skint molecules;
2. The γδ TCR – repertoires, structure and signaling;
3. Identification of diverse ligands for the γδ TCR;
4. Key co-receptors/ligands and
5. Transcriptional networks controlling γδ T cell development and responses.
We welcome the submission of Original Research, Methods, Review and Mini-Review articles to this Research Topic.
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