Treg Responses to Eos

Science Signaling  01 Sep 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 86, pp. ec294
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.286ec294

CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are critical for keeping our immune system in check: They prevent immune responses from getting out of hand and keep autoimmunity at bay. By activating the expression of some genes and turning off expression of others, the master regulatory transcription factor of Tregs, Foxp3, endows these cells with the appropriate gene expression program to mediate their suppressive effects. Pan et al. now demonstrate that the transcription factor Eos is selectively required for Foxp3-mediated gene suppression in mice. Genes normally suppressed by Foxp3 in Tregs remained “on” when Eos expression was suppressed, whereas genes activated by Foxp3 were unaffected. Treg function was also affected by Eos suppression. With half their genetic program disrupted, these cells resembled an intermediate between Tregs and conventional CD4+ T cells—unable to suppress immune responses properly and partially responsive to T cell–activating stimulation.

F. Pan, H. Yu, E. V. Dang, J. Barbi, X. Pan, J. F. Grosso, D. Jinasena, S. M. Sharma, E. M. McCadden, D. Getnet, C. G. Drake, J. O. Liu, M. C. Ostrowski, D. M. Pardoll, Eos mediates Foxp3-dependent gene silencing in CD4+ regulatory T cells. Science 325, 1142–1146 (2009). [Abstract] [Full Text]