The transcription factor tcf1 in t cell differentiation and aging

Chulwoo Kim, Jun Jin, Cornelia M. Weyand, Jörg J. Goronzy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The transcription factor T cell factor 1 (TCF1), a pioneer transcription factor as well as a downstream effector of WNT/β-catenin signaling, is indispensable for T cell development in the thymus. Recent studies have highlighted the additional critical role of TCF1 in peripheral T cell responses to acute and chronic infections as well as cancer. Here, we review the regulatory functions of TCF1 in the differentiation of T follicular helper cells, memory T cells and recently described stem-like exhausted T cells, where TCF1 promotes less differentiated stem-like cell states by controlling common gene-regulatory networks. These studies also provide insights into the mechanisms of defective T cell responses in older individuals. We discuss alterations in TCF1 expression and related regulatory networks with age and their consequences for T cell responses to infections and vaccination. The increasing understanding of the pathways regulating TCF1 expression and function in aged T cells holds the promise of enabling the design of therapeutic interventions aiming at improving T cell responses in older individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6497
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020


  • Immunosenescence
  • Memory T cells
  • Stem-like CD8 T cells
  • T cell aging
  • T cell differentiation
  • T cell exhaustion
  • T follicular helper cells
  • TCF1
  • WNT/β-catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'The transcription factor tcf1 in t cell differentiation and aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this