Reenergizing T cell anti-tumor immunity by harnessing immunometabolic checkpoints and machineries

Curr Opin Immunol. 2017 Jun;46:38-44. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2017.04.003. Epub 2017 Apr 27.


T cells patrol our bodies preventing pathogenic infections and malignant cell outgrowth. However, T cells must be properly controlled because aberrant or persistent T cell responses can damage tissues and contribute to autoimmune diseases and other chronic inflammatory diseases including metabolic syndrome. One regulatory mechanism utilized in immune cells is immunometabolic regulation, which ensures immune cells properly respond to systemic and peripheral metabolic cues. Recent work has suggested that deregulated metabolism in tumor cells creates a microenvironmental barrier for mounting effective anti-tumor immune responses. Here, we discuss how tumor cells evade immunosurveillance by modulating metabolic checkpoints in immune cells and discuss how memory T cells could provide effective anti-tumor responses by sustaining metabolic fitness and longevity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunity*
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Immunomodulation*
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Stress, Physiological
  • T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Tumor Escape / immunology
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology