Signaling pathways play critical roles in regulating the activation of T cells. Recognition of foreign peptide presented by MHC to the T cell receptor (TCR) triggers a signaling cascade of proximal kinases and adapter molecules that lead to the activation of Effector kinase pathways. These effector kinase pathways play pivotal roles in T cell activation, differentiation, and proliferation. RNA sequencing-based methods have provided insights into the gene expression programs that support the above-mentioned cell biological responses. The proteome is often overlooked. A recent study by Damasio et al. [Biochem. J. (2021) 478, 79–98. doi:10.1042/BCJ20200661] focuses on characterizing the effect of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) on the remodeling of the proteome of activated CD8+ T cells using Mass spectrometric analysis. Surprisingly, the Effector kinase ERK pathway is responsible for only a select proportion of the proteome that restructures during T cell activation. The primary targets of ERK signaling are transcription factors, cytokines, and cytokine receptors. In this commentary, we discuss the recent findings by Damasio et al. [Biochem. J. (2021) 478, 79–98. doi:10.1042/BCJ20200661] in the context of different Effector kinase pathways in activated T cells.

You do not currently have access to this content.