Development of PLZF-expressing innate T cells

Curr Opin Immunol. 2011 Apr;23(2):220-7. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2010.12.016. Epub 2011 Jan 21.


Recent studies have shown that the transcriptional regulator promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF) controls the development of essentially all of the innate-like features of invariant Natural Killer T (NKT) cells. For example, PLZF-deficient NKT cells do not acquire an 'activated' phenotype nor do they acquire the capacity to secrete multiple cytokines upon primary stimulation. The function of a subset of γδ T cells has now also been shown to be dependent upon expression of PLZF. Furthermore, IL-4 produced by PLZF-expressing cells causes some CD8 T cells to acquire innate-like features. Therefore, it is becoming clear that PLZF has a broad impact on the immune response. Here we discuss the current understanding of how expression of PLZF, the innate T cell determinant, is initiated during T cell development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell