Natural killer (NK) cells are cytotoxic innate lymphocytes with key roles in host protection against viruses and malignancy. Notwithstanding their historical classification as innate immune cells, NK cells are now understood to have some capacity to mount memory or memory-like immune responses in which effector cells undergo antigen-driven expansion and give rise to long-lived memory cells with enhanced functionality. Understanding how antigen-specific effector and memory NK responses are regulated is an important and active area of research in the field. Here, we discuss key transcription factors and epigenetic processes involved in antigen-specific effector and memory NK cell differentiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- NK cell
- natural killer
- transcription factors