A critical role for STAT3 transcription factor signaling in the development and maintenance of human T cell memory

Immunity. 2011 Nov 23;35(5):806-18. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2011.09.016.


STAT3 transcription factor signaling in specific T helper cell differentiation has been well described, although the broader roles for STAT3 in lymphocyte memory are less clear. Patients with autosomal-dominant hyper-IgE syndrome (AD-HIES) carry dominant-negative STAT3 mutations and are susceptible to a variety of bacterial and fungal infections. We found that AD-HIES patients have a cell-intrinsic defect in the number of central memory CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells compared to healthy controls. Naive T cells from AD-HIES patients had lower expression of memory-related transcription factors BCL6 and SOCS3, a primary proliferation defect, and they failed to acquire central memory-like surface phenotypes in vitro. AD-HIES patients showed a decreased ability to control varicella zoster virus (VZV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latency, and T cell memory to both of these viruses was compromised. These data point to a specific role for STAT3 in human central memory T cell formation and in control of certain chronic viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory / genetics*
  • Job Syndrome / genetics
  • Job Syndrome / immunology
  • Job Syndrome / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • STAT3 Transcription Factor