Schlafen2 mutation unravels a role for chronic ER stress in the loss of T cell quiescence

Ibrahim Omar, Antonio Lapenna, Leonor Cohen-Daniel, Boaz Tirosh, Michael Berger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Immunologically naïve lymphocytes are kept in a quiescent state until antigen engagement. These quiescent immune cells are characterized by small cell size, lack of spontaneous proliferation and low metabolic rate. Lymphocyte quiescence is actively enforced condition which ensures the preservation of proper differentiation and proliferation capabilities of naïve and memory lymphocytes. Previously we described a chemically induced mutation in Schlafen2 (Slfn2), termed elektra, which breaks quiescence and compromises immunity. However, the mechanism by which Slfn2 maintains quiescence remains unknown. Here we demonstrate that elektra T cells display chronic ER stress under steady state conditions. Modulation of ER stress response by depletion of either UPR mediators XBP1 or CHOP, improved viability and partially corrected the developmental abnormalities and proliferation capabilities of elektra T cells. Altogether, our results demonstrate a functional connection between Slfn2 induced quiescence in T cells and ER homeostasis, clarifying a novel mechanism by which immune cell quiescence is maintained.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)39396-39407
Number of pages12
Issue number26
StatePublished - 2016


  • ER stress
  • Immune response
  • Immunity
  • Immunology and microbiology section
  • Quiescence
  • Slfn2
  • UPR
  • XBP1


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