T cell metabolic exhaustion
Infiltrating cytotoxic T cells become dysfunctional when they get into the tumor microenvironment. This dysfunctionality is named T cell exhaustion.
Recently, we have found that exhausted CD8+T cells have decreased mitochondrial functionality, which dampens their ability to adapt their metabolism to the poor metabolite microenvironment.
Our lab is interested in identifying the mechanisms responsible for ‘metabolic exhaustion’ and how this program impacts T cell functions by performing analyses of T cell metabolic function and bioenergetic flux paralleled by epigenetic and transcriptional profiling.
T cell metabolism reprogramming
Our group has recently demonstrated that one of the mechanisms by which the tumor microenvironment drives CD8+T cell exhaustion is by depleting nutrients that are fundamental for sustaining their activity.
We are exploring new ways to engineer CD8+T cells to improve their metabolic fitness and empower them to fight in a poor nutrient microenvironment.