Tinoco R, Carrette F, Henriquez ML, Fujita Y, et a. Fucosyltransferase Induction during Influenza Virus Infection Is Required for the Generation of Functional Memory CD4+ T Cells. J Immunol 2018 Feb 28
T cells mediating influenza viral control are instructed in lymphoid and nonlymphoid tissues to differentiate into memory T cells that confer protective immunity. The mechanisms by which influenza virus-specific memory CD4+ T cells arise have been attributed to changes in transcription factors, cytokines and cytokine receptors, and metabolic programming. The molecules involved in these biosynthetic pathways, including proteins and lipids, are modified to varying degrees of glycosylation, fucosylation, sialation, and sulfation, which can alter their function. It is currently unknown how the glycome enzymatic machinery regulates CD4+ T cell effector and memory differentiation. In a murine model of influenza virus infection, we found that fucosyltransferase enzymatic activity was induced in effector and memory CD4+ T cells. Using CD4+ T cells deficient in the Fut4/7 enzymes that are expressed only in hematopoietic cells, we found decreased frequencies of effector cells with reduced expression of T-bet and NKG2A/C/E in the lungs during primary infection. Furthermore, Fut4/7-/- effector CD4+ T cells had reduced survival with no difference in proliferation or capacity for effector function. Although Fut4/7-/- CD4+ T cells seeded the memory pool after primary infection, they failed to form tissue-resident cells, were dysfunctional, and were unable to re-expand after secondary infection. Our findings highlight an important regulatory axis mediated by cell-intrinsic fucosyltransferase activity in CD4+ T cell effectors that ensure the development of functional memory CD4+ T cells.
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