Regulation of memory CD8 + T cell differentiation by MicroRNAs

Zhen Zhang, Chaoqi Zhang, Feng Li, Bin Zhang, Yi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as crucial regulators of T lymphocyte survival, differentiation and function, all of which are key factors impacting the outcome of adoptive T cell-based immunotherapy. It has become increasingly clear that the adoptive transfer of memory CD8 + T cell subsets is highly correlated with objective clinical responses for patients with advanced cancer. However, it is unclear how to improve the long-term persistence of transferred CD8 + T cells using miRNAs. Here, we highlight the current advances in our understanding of the role of miRNAs in regulating the differentiation of memory CD8 + T cells. We specifically discuss the effect of miRNAs on key transcription factors, immune checkpoints and signal pathways, which contribute to the differentiation of effector and memory T cell subsets. Ultimately, miRNAs may be easily integrated into existing T cell receptor (TCR) and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) platforms to promote adoptive T cell therapy with multiple advantages. Thus, combining T cell-based therapy with miRNAs could be considered a promising and robust strategy for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2187-2198
Number of pages12
JournalCellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Adoptive T cell therapy
  • Memory T cells
  • MicroRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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