Fighting external pathogens requires an ever-changing immune system that relies on tight regulation of gene expression. Transcriptional control is the first step to build efficient responses while preventing immunodeficiencies and autoimmunity. Post-transcriptional regulation of RNA editing, location, stability, and translation are the other key steps for final gene expression, and they are all controlled by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs). Nowadays we have a deep understanding of how transcription factors control the immune system but recent evidences suggest that post-transcriptional regulation by RBPs is equally important for both development and activation of immune responses. Here, we review current knowledge about how post-transcriptional control by RBPs shapes our immune system and discuss the perspective of RBPs being the key players of a hidden immune cell epitranscriptome.
Keywords: RNA binding proteins; T-cell mediated immunity; humoral response; immune cell activation; immune cell development; immune cell homeostasis; post-transcriptional RNA regulation.