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Sci. Signal., 1 February 2011
Vol. 4, Issue 158, p. pe4
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2001783]

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To Be or Not to Be a Treg Cell: Lineage Decisions Controlled by Epigenetic Mechanisms

Aras Toker and Jochen Huehn*

Experimental Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.

Abstract: Regulatory T (Treg) cells are a unique CD4+ T cell lineage that plays a crucial role in the maintenance of immunological tolerance. The Forkhead box transcription factor Foxp3 is critically involved in Treg cell development and responsible for determining the suppressive function of these cells. The majority of Foxp3+ Treg cells are generated during T cell development within the thymus and show features of a stable T cell lineage. New work indicates that both induction and stabilization of Foxp3 expression are under epigenetic control, which suggests that selective interference with the underlying chromatin remodeling mechanisms might enable the development of future therapeutic strategies targeting Treg cells.

* Corresponding author. Telephone, +49-531-6181-3310; fax, +49-531-6181-3399; e-mail, jochen.huehn{at}helmholtz-hzi.de

Citation: A. Toker, J. Huehn, To Be or Not to Be a Treg Cell: Lineage Decisions Controlled by Epigenetic Mechanisms. Sci. Signal. 4, pe4 (2011).

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Active Demethylation of the Foxp3 Locus Leads to the Generation of Stable Regulatory T Cells within the Thymus.
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