Viruses | VOL. 14

Expression of NAC1 Restrains the Memory Formation of CD8+ T Cells during Viral Infection

Publication Date Aug 4, 2022


Nucleus accumbens-associated protein 1 (NAC1) is a transcription co-factor that has been shown to possess multiple roles in stem cell and cancer biology. However, little is known about its roles in regulation of the immune system. In the current study, we observed that expression of NAC1 impacted the survival of CD8+ T cells in vitro. NAC1−/− CD8+ T cells displayed lower metabolism, including reduced glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation. In vivo, compared with wild-type (WT) mice, NAC1−/− mice produced a lower response to vaccinia virus (VACV) infection, and viral antigen (Ag)-specific CD8+ T cells decreased more slowly. Additionally, we observed that the NAC1−/− mice demonstrated a stronger memory formation of viral Ag-specific CD8+ T cells post-viral infection. Mechanically, we identified that compared with WT CD8+ T cells, the Interferon Regulatory Factor 4 (IRF4), a key transcription factor in T cell development, was highly expressed in NAC1−/− CD8+ T cells, insinuating that IRF4 could be a critical regulatory target of NAC1 in the memory formation of CD8+ T cells. Our results indicate that NAC1 restrains the memory formation of CD8+ T cells by modulating IRF4, and targeting NAC1 may be exploited as a new approach to boosting CD8+ T cell memory.


Nucleus Accumbens-associated Protein 1 Interferon Regulatory Factor 4 Nucleus Accumbens-associated Protein Interferon Regulatory Factor Wild-type CD8 Key Transcription Factor Transcription Co-factor Vaccinia Virus Specific CD8 Viral Antigen

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