Cytotoxic T-cells are crucial to protect us from intracellular pathogens and malignant cells. When T-cells become activated, they rapidly secrete cytokines, chemokines and cytotoxic granules that are critical to clear infected cells. However, when not properly regulated, these toxic effector molecules become one of the key mediators of autoimmune diseases. Therefore, a tight and multi-layered regulation of gene expression and protein production is required to ensure a protective yet balanced immune response. In this review, we describe how post-transcriptional events modulate the production of effector molecules in T-cells. In particular, we will focus on the role of cis-regulatory elements within the 3′-UTR of specific mRNAs and on RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and non-coding RNAs that control the initiation and resolution of T-cell responses.

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