Transcriptome profiling of CTLs regulated by rapamycin using RNA-Seq.

PMID 25113844


Memory programming of cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) by inflammatory cytokines can be regulated by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). We have shown that inhibition of mTOR during CTL activation leads to the enhancement of memory, but the molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Using high-throughput RNA-Seq, we identified genes and functions in mouse CTLs affected by mTOR inhibition through rapamycin. Of the 43,221 identified transcripts, 184 transcripts were differentially expressed after rapamycin treatment, corresponding to 128 annotated genes. Of these genes, 114 were downregulated and only 14 were upregulated. Most importantly, 50 of them are directly related to cell death and survival. In addition, several genes such as CD62L are related to migration. Furthermore, we predicted downregulation of transcriptional regulators based on the total differentially expressed genes, as well as the subset of apoptosis-related genes. Quantitative PCR confirmed the differential expressions detected in RNA-Seq. We conclude that the regulatory function of rapamycin may work through inhibition of multiple genes related to apoptosis and migration, which enhance CTL survival into memory.