EBAG9 controls CD8(+) T cell memory formation responding to tumor challenge in mice


  • A. Rehm
  • A. Wirges
  • D. Hoser
  • C. Fischer
  • S. Herda
  • K. Gerlach
  • S. Sauer
  • G. Willimsky
  • U.E. Hoepken


  • JCI Insight


  • JCI Insight 7 (11): e155534


  • Insight into processes that determine CD8(+) T cell memory formation has been obtained from infection models. These models are biased toward an inflammatory milieu and often employ high avidity CD8(+) T cells in adoptive transfer procedures. It is unclear whether these conditions mimic the differentiation processes of an endogenous repertoire that proceed upon non-inflammatory conditions prevailing in premalignant tumor lesions. We examined the role of cytolytic capacity on CD8(+) T cell fate decisions when primed by tumor cells or by minor histocompatibility antigen-mismatched leukocytes. CD8(+) memory commitment was analyzed in Ebag9-deficient mice that exhibit an enhanced tumor cell lysis. This property endowed Ebag9(-/-) mice with extended control of Tcl-1 oncogene-induced chronic lymphocytic leukemia progression. In Ebag9(-/-) mice, an expanded memory population was obtained for anti-HY and anti-SV40 T antigen-specific T cells, despite unchanged effector frequencies in the primary response. By comparing the single-cell transcriptomes of CD8(+) T cells responding to tumor cell vaccination, we found differential distribution of subpopulations between Ebag9(+/+) and Ebag9(-/-) T cells. In Ebag9(-/-) cells, these larger clusters contained genes encoding transcription factors regulating memory cell differentiation, along with anti-apoptotic gene functions. Our findings link EBAG9-controlled cytolytic activity and the commitment to the CD8(+) memory lineage.