Enzymatic synthesis of core 2 O-glycans governs the tissue-trafficking potential of memory CD8+ T cells

Jossef F. Osborn, Jana L. Mooster, Samuel J. Hobbs, Michael W. Munks, Conrad Barry, John T. Harty, Ann B. Hill, Jeffrey C. Nolz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Trafficking of memory CD8+ T cells out of the circulation is essential to provide protective immunity against intracellular pathogens in nonlymphoid tissues. However, the molecular mechanisms that dictate the trafficking potential of diverse memory CD8+ T cell populations are not completely defined. We show that after infection or inflammatory challenge, central memory (TCM) CD8+ T cells rapidly traffic into nonlymphoid tissues, whereas most effector memory cells remain in the circulation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that cellular migration of memory CD8+ T cells into nonlymphoid tissues is driven by interleukin-15 (IL-15)–stimulated enzymatic synthesis of core 2 O-glycans, which generates functional ligands for E- and P-selectins. Given that IL-15–stimulated expression of glycosyltransferase enzymes is largely a feature of TCM CD8+ T cells, this allows TCM to selectively migrate out of the circulation and into nonlymphoid tissues. Collectively, our data indicate that entry of memory CD8+ T cells into inflamed, nonlymphoid tissues is primarily restricted to TCM cells that have the capacity to synthesize core 2 O-glycans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaan6049
JournalScience Immunology
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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