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Saskia Hemmers

Assistant Professor in Integrative Immunobiology
Integrative Immunobiology
207 Research Drive, Box 3010, Durham, NC 27710
207 Research Drive, Room 112, Durham, NC 27710

Selected Publications


Novel antigen-presenting cell imparts Treg-dependent tolerance to gut microbiota.

Journal Article Nature · October 2022 Establishing and maintaining tolerance to self-antigens or innocuous foreign antigens is vital for the preservation of organismal health. Within the thymus, medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) expressing autoimmune regulator (AIRE) have a critical ro ... Full text Link to item Cite

T reg cell-intrinsic requirements for ST2 signaling in health and neuroinflammation.

Journal Article J Exp Med · February 1, 2021 ST2, the receptor for the alarmin IL-33, is expressed by a subset of regulatory T (T reg) cells residing in nonlymphoid tissues, and these cells can potently expand upon provision of exogenous IL-33. Whether the accumulation and residence of T reg cells in ... Full text Link to item Cite

IL-2 production by self-reactive CD4 thymocytes scales regulatory T cell generation in the thymus.

Journal Article J Exp Med · November 4, 2019 Regulatory T (T reg) cells, a specialized subset of CD4+ T cells, are essential to prevent fatal autoimmunity. Expression of the T reg lineage-defining transcription factor Foxp3, and therefore their differentiation in the thymus, is dependent upon T cell ... Full text Link to item Cite

Nemo-like Kinase Drives Foxp3 Stability and Is Critical for Maintenance of Immune Tolerance by Regulatory T Cells.

Journal Article Cell Rep · March 26, 2019 The Foxp3 transcription factor is a crucial determinant of both regulatory T (TREG) cell development and their functional maintenance. Appropriate modulation of tolerogenic immune responses therefore requires the tight regulation of Foxp3 transcriptional o ... Full text Link to item Cite

Myeloid-Specific Deletion of Peptidylarginine Deiminase 4 Mitigates Atherosclerosis.

Journal Article Front Immunol · 2018 Increasing evidence suggests that neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) may play a role in promoting atherosclerotic plaque lesions in humans and in murine models. The exact pathways involved in NET-driven atherogenesis remain to be systematically characte ... Full text Link to item Cite

Antigen receptor repertoire profiling from RNA-seq data.

Journal Article Nat Biotechnol · October 11, 2017 Full text Link to item Cite

Stability and function of regulatory T cells expressing the transcription factor T-bet.

Journal Article Nature · June 15, 2017 Adaptive immune responses are tailored to different types of pathogens through differentiation of naive CD4 T cells into functionally distinct subsets of effector T cells (T helper 1 (TH1), TH2, and TH17) defined by expression of the key transcription fact ... Full text Link to item Cite

Suppression of lethal autoimmunity by regulatory T cells with a single TCR specificity.

Journal Article J Exp Med · March 6, 2017 The regulatory T cell (T reg cell) T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire is highly diverse and skewed toward recognition of self-antigens. TCR expression by T reg cells is continuously required for maintenance of immune tolerance and for a major part of their c ... Full text Link to item Cite

Memory of Inflammation in Regulatory T Cells.

Journal Article Cell · August 11, 2016 Eukaryotic cells can "remember" transient encounters with a wide range of stimuli, inducing lasting states of altered responsiveness. Regulatory T (Treg) cells are a specialized lineage of suppressive CD4 T cells that act as critical negative regulators of ... Full text Link to item Cite

A mechanism for expansion of regulatory T-cell repertoire and its role in self-tolerance.

Journal Article Nature · December 3, 2015 T-cell receptor (TCR) signalling has a key role in determining T-cell fate. Precursor cells expressing TCRs within a certain low-affinity range for complexes of self-peptide and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) undergo positive selection and differen ... Full text Link to item Cite

A Distinct Function of Regulatory T Cells in Tissue Protection.

Journal Article Cell · August 27, 2015 Regulatory T (Treg) cells suppress immune responses to a broad range of non-microbial and microbial antigens and indirectly limit immune inflammation-inflicted tissue damage by employing multiple mechanisms of suppression. Here, we demonstrate that selecti ... Full text Link to item Cite

The Cell-Intrinsic Circadian Clock Is Dispensable for Lymphocyte Differentiation and Function.

Journal Article Cell Rep · June 9, 2015 Circadian rhythms regulate many aspects of physiology, ranging from sleep-wake cycles and metabolic parameters to susceptibility to infection. The molecular clock, with transcription factor BMAL1 at its core, controls both central and cell-intrinsic circad ... Full text Link to item Cite

Regulatory T cell ablation causes acute T cell lymphopenia.

Journal Article PLoS One · 2014 Regulatory T (Treg) cells enforce T cell homeostasis and maintain peripheral T cell tolerance. Here we report a previously unappreciated phenomenon of acute T cell lymphopenia in secondary lymphoid organs and non-lymphoid tissues triggered by Treg cell dep ... Full text Link to item Cite

Dendritic epidermal T cells regulate skin antimicrobial barrier function.

Journal Article J Clin Invest · October 2013 The epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, forms a physical and antimicrobial shield to protect the body from environmental threats. Skin injury severely compromises the epidermal barrier and requires immediate repair. Dendritic epidermal T cells (DETC) r ... Full text Link to item Cite

TGF-β signalling is required for CD4⁺ T cell homeostasis but dispensable for regulatory T cell function.

Journal Article PLoS Biol · October 2013 TGF-β is widely held to be critical for the maintenance and function of regulatory T (T(reg)) cells and thus peripheral tolerance. This is highlighted by constitutive ablation of TGF-β receptor (TR) during thymic development in mice, which leads to a letha ... Full text Link to item Cite

IL-2-dependent adaptive control of NK cell homeostasis.

Journal Article J Exp Med · June 3, 2013 Activation and expansion of T and B lymphocytes and myeloid cells are controlled by Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (T reg cells), and their deficiency results in a fatal lympho- and myeloproliferative syndrome. A role for T reg cells in the homeostasis of inn ... Full text Link to item Cite

IL-2-dependent tuning of NK cell sensitivity for target cells is controlled by regulatory T cells.

Journal Article J Exp Med · June 3, 2013 The emergence of the adaptive immune system took a toll in the form of pathologies mediated by self-reactive cells. Regulatory T cells (T reg cells) exert a critical brake on responses of T and B lymphocytes to self- and foreign antigens. Here, we asked wh ... Full text Link to item Cite

TCR signaling via Tec kinase ITK and interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) regulates CD8+ T-cell differentiation.

Journal Article Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A · October 9, 2012 CD8(+) T-cell development in the thymus generates a predominant population of conventional naive cells, along with minor populations of "innate" T cells that resemble memory cells. Recent studies analyzing a variety of KO or knock-in mice have indicated th ... Full text Link to item Cite

PAD4 is not essential for disease in the K/BxN murine autoantibody-mediated model of arthritis.

Journal Article Arthritis Res Ther · May 2, 2012 INTRODUCTION: Both murine and human genome-wide association studies have implicated peptidyl arginine deiminase (PAD4) as a susceptibility gene in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In addition, patients with RA commonly have autoantibodies which recognize PAD4 or ... Full text Link to item Cite

PAD4-mediated neutrophil extracellular trap formation is not required for immunity against influenza infection.

Journal Article PLoS One · 2011 During an inflammatory response, neutrophils migrate to the site of infection where they can kill invading pathogens by phagocytosis, secretion of anti-microbicidal mediators or the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). NETs are specialized ant ... Full text Link to item Cite

Novel antigen-presenting cell imparts Treg-dependent tolerance to gut microbiota.

Journal Article Nature · October 2022 Establishing and maintaining tolerance to self-antigens or innocuous foreign antigens is vital for the preservation of organismal health. Within the thymus, medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) expressing autoimmune regulator (AIRE) have a critical ro ... Full text Link to item Cite

T reg cell-intrinsic requirements for ST2 signaling in health and neuroinflammation.

Journal Article J Exp Med · February 1, 2021 ST2, the receptor for the alarmin IL-33, is expressed by a subset of regulatory T (T reg) cells residing in nonlymphoid tissues, and these cells can potently expand upon provision of exogenous IL-33. Whether the accumulation and residence of T reg cells in ... Full text Link to item Cite

IL-2 production by self-reactive CD4 thymocytes scales regulatory T cell generation in the thymus.

Journal Article J Exp Med · November 4, 2019 Regulatory T (T reg) cells, a specialized subset of CD4+ T cells, are essential to prevent fatal autoimmunity. Expression of the T reg lineage-defining transcription factor Foxp3, and therefore their differentiation in the thymus, is dependent upon T cell ... Full text Link to item Cite

Nemo-like Kinase Drives Foxp3 Stability and Is Critical for Maintenance of Immune Tolerance by Regulatory T Cells.

Journal Article Cell Rep · March 26, 2019 The Foxp3 transcription factor is a crucial determinant of both regulatory T (TREG) cell development and their functional maintenance. Appropriate modulation of tolerogenic immune responses therefore requires the tight regulation of Foxp3 transcriptional o ... Full text Link to item Cite

Myeloid-Specific Deletion of Peptidylarginine Deiminase 4 Mitigates Atherosclerosis.

Journal Article Front Immunol · 2018 Increasing evidence suggests that neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) may play a role in promoting atherosclerotic plaque lesions in humans and in murine models. The exact pathways involved in NET-driven atherogenesis remain to be systematically characte ... Full text Link to item Cite

Antigen receptor repertoire profiling from RNA-seq data.

Journal Article Nat Biotechnol · October 11, 2017 Full text Link to item Cite

Stability and function of regulatory T cells expressing the transcription factor T-bet.

Journal Article Nature · June 15, 2017 Adaptive immune responses are tailored to different types of pathogens through differentiation of naive CD4 T cells into functionally distinct subsets of effector T cells (T helper 1 (TH1), TH2, and TH17) defined by expression of the key transcription fact ... Full text Link to item Cite

Suppression of lethal autoimmunity by regulatory T cells with a single TCR specificity.

Journal Article J Exp Med · March 6, 2017 The regulatory T cell (T reg cell) T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire is highly diverse and skewed toward recognition of self-antigens. TCR expression by T reg cells is continuously required for maintenance of immune tolerance and for a major part of their c ... Full text Link to item Cite

Memory of Inflammation in Regulatory T Cells.

Journal Article Cell · August 11, 2016 Eukaryotic cells can "remember" transient encounters with a wide range of stimuli, inducing lasting states of altered responsiveness. Regulatory T (Treg) cells are a specialized lineage of suppressive CD4 T cells that act as critical negative regulators of ... Full text Link to item Cite

A mechanism for expansion of regulatory T-cell repertoire and its role in self-tolerance.

Journal Article Nature · December 3, 2015 T-cell receptor (TCR) signalling has a key role in determining T-cell fate. Precursor cells expressing TCRs within a certain low-affinity range for complexes of self-peptide and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) undergo positive selection and differen ... Full text Link to item Cite

A Distinct Function of Regulatory T Cells in Tissue Protection.

Journal Article Cell · August 27, 2015 Regulatory T (Treg) cells suppress immune responses to a broad range of non-microbial and microbial antigens and indirectly limit immune inflammation-inflicted tissue damage by employing multiple mechanisms of suppression. Here, we demonstrate that selecti ... Full text Link to item Cite

The Cell-Intrinsic Circadian Clock Is Dispensable for Lymphocyte Differentiation and Function.

Journal Article Cell Rep · June 9, 2015 Circadian rhythms regulate many aspects of physiology, ranging from sleep-wake cycles and metabolic parameters to susceptibility to infection. The molecular clock, with transcription factor BMAL1 at its core, controls both central and cell-intrinsic circad ... Full text Link to item Cite

Regulatory T cell ablation causes acute T cell lymphopenia.

Journal Article PLoS One · 2014 Regulatory T (Treg) cells enforce T cell homeostasis and maintain peripheral T cell tolerance. Here we report a previously unappreciated phenomenon of acute T cell lymphopenia in secondary lymphoid organs and non-lymphoid tissues triggered by Treg cell dep ... Full text Link to item Cite

Dendritic epidermal T cells regulate skin antimicrobial barrier function.

Journal Article J Clin Invest · October 2013 The epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, forms a physical and antimicrobial shield to protect the body from environmental threats. Skin injury severely compromises the epidermal barrier and requires immediate repair. Dendritic epidermal T cells (DETC) r ... Full text Link to item Cite

TGF-β signalling is required for CD4⁺ T cell homeostasis but dispensable for regulatory T cell function.

Journal Article PLoS Biol · October 2013 TGF-β is widely held to be critical for the maintenance and function of regulatory T (T(reg)) cells and thus peripheral tolerance. This is highlighted by constitutive ablation of TGF-β receptor (TR) during thymic development in mice, which leads to a letha ... Full text Link to item Cite

IL-2-dependent adaptive control of NK cell homeostasis.

Journal Article J Exp Med · June 3, 2013 Activation and expansion of T and B lymphocytes and myeloid cells are controlled by Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (T reg cells), and their deficiency results in a fatal lympho- and myeloproliferative syndrome. A role for T reg cells in the homeostasis of inn ... Full text Link to item Cite

IL-2-dependent tuning of NK cell sensitivity for target cells is controlled by regulatory T cells.

Journal Article J Exp Med · June 3, 2013 The emergence of the adaptive immune system took a toll in the form of pathologies mediated by self-reactive cells. Regulatory T cells (T reg cells) exert a critical brake on responses of T and B lymphocytes to self- and foreign antigens. Here, we asked wh ... Full text Link to item Cite

TCR signaling via Tec kinase ITK and interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) regulates CD8+ T-cell differentiation.

Journal Article Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A · October 9, 2012 CD8(+) T-cell development in the thymus generates a predominant population of conventional naive cells, along with minor populations of "innate" T cells that resemble memory cells. Recent studies analyzing a variety of KO or knock-in mice have indicated th ... Full text Link to item Cite

PAD4 is not essential for disease in the K/BxN murine autoantibody-mediated model of arthritis.

Journal Article Arthritis Res Ther · May 2, 2012 INTRODUCTION: Both murine and human genome-wide association studies have implicated peptidyl arginine deiminase (PAD4) as a susceptibility gene in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In addition, patients with RA commonly have autoantibodies which recognize PAD4 or ... Full text Link to item Cite

PAD4-mediated neutrophil extracellular trap formation is not required for immunity against influenza infection.

Journal Article PLoS One · 2011 During an inflammatory response, neutrophils migrate to the site of infection where they can kill invading pathogens by phagocytosis, secretion of anti-microbicidal mediators or the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). NETs are specialized ant ... Full text Link to item Cite

Mast cell function is not altered by Coronin-1A deficiency.

Journal Article J Leukoc Biol · October 2010 Coronin-1A is a WD repeat protein family member, highly expressed in all hematopoietic lineages, and acts as a regulator of F-actin dynamics and Ca2+ signaling. In Coro1a(Lmb3) mice results in inactivation of the protein and leads to disease resistance in ... Full text Link to item Cite

Effects of a novel arginine methyltransferase inhibitor on T-helper cell cytokine production.

Journal Article FEBS J · May 2010 The protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) family of enzymes catalyzes the transfer of methyl groups from S-adenosylmethionine to the guanidino nitrogen atom of peptidylarginine to form monomethylarginine or dimethylarginine. We created several less pol ... Full text Link to item Cite

NIP45 controls the magnitude of the type 2 T helper cell response.

Journal Article Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A · February 23, 2010 Nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFAT) transcription factors are key regulators of gene transcription within immune cells. The NFAT-interacting protein, (NIP45), augments NFAT-driven IL-4 expression by a mechanism that relies on arginine methylation. To ... Full text Link to item Cite

T(H)2 bias: Mina tips the balance.

Journal Article Nat Immunol · August 2009 Full text Link to item Cite

Identifying key components of the PrPC-PrPSc replicative interface.

Journal Article J Biol Chem · December 5, 2008 In prion disease, direct interaction between the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) and its misfolded disease-associated conformer PrP(Sc) is a crucial, although poorly understood step promoting the formation of nascent PrP(Sc) and prion infectivity. Recently ... Full text Link to item Cite