Research ArticleImmunology

MeCP2 Reinforces STAT3 Signaling and the Generation of Effector CD4+ T Cells by Promoting miR-124–Mediated Suppression of SOCS5

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Science Signaling  11 Mar 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 316, pp. ra25
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004824

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Neurons and T Cells Need MeCP2

Methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) is a multifunctional transcriptional regulator involved in chromatin remodeling and the activation of gene expression. Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in MECP2 are found in patients with the neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome, and polymorphisms in MECP2 are linked to increased susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. Jiang et al. found in naïve CD4+ T cells that MeCP2 was required for the expression of a microRNA without which cytokine-dependent activation of the transcriptional regulators of the STAT family was defective. MeCP2-deficient naïve CD4+ T cells failed to differentiate into specific types of effector T cells in vitro and in mice. Furthermore, neurons and astrocytes deficient in MeCP2 also exhibited defective STAT signaling, which suggests that MeCP2 may regulate similar pathways in both neuronal and immune cell types.

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