Editors' ChoiceImmunology

The Secret Life of a Vaccine

Science Signaling  21 Jan 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 309, pp. ec20
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005080

Antigen-specific CD8÷ T cells play a central role in the adaptive immune response to viral infections and to cancer. Ravindran et al. studied the successful yellow fever virus vaccine YF-17D to gain insight into its mechanism of action. The vaccine activated the nutrient deprivation sensor, GCN2 kinase, in dendritic cells. In transgenic mouse models, GCN2 activation promoted autophagy and antigen cross-presentation, enhancing the virus-specific CD8÷ T cell response. The findings suggest an important role for nutrient availability and autophagy in vaccine efficacy, which could aid more successful vaccine development.

R. Ravindran, N. Khan, H. I. Nakaya, S. Li, J. Loebbermann, M. S. Maddur, Y. Park, D. P. Jones, P. Chappert, J. Davoust, D. S. Weiss, H. W. Virgin, D. Ron, B. Pulendran, Vaccine activation of the nutrient sensor GCN2 in dendritic cells enhances antigen presentation. Science 343, 313–317 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]