New roles for cyclin-dependent kinases in T cell biology: linking cell division and differentiation

Nat Rev Immunol. 2014 Apr;14(4):261-70. doi: 10.1038/nri3625. Epub 2014 Mar 7.


The proliferation of a few antigen-reactive lymphocytes into a large population of effector cells is a fundamental property of adaptive immunity. The cell division that fuels this process is driven by signals from antigen, co-stimulatory molecules and growth factor receptors, and is controlled by the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) cascade. In this Opinion article, we discuss how the CDK cascade provides one potential link between cell division and differentiation through the phosphorylation of immunologically relevant transcription factors, and how components of this pathway might ultimately participate in the decision between tolerance and immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Cell Division / immunology*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27 / immunology
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / immunology*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Immunotherapy
  • Models, Immunological
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / enzymology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases