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J Exp Med. 1999 Dec 20;190(12):1837-48.

Lineage-specific modulation of interleukin 4 signaling by interferon regulatory factor 4.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Interleukin (IL)-4 is an immunoregulatory cytokine that exerts distinct biological activities on different cell types. Our studies indicate that interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-4 is both a target and a modulator of the IL-4 signaling cascade. IRF-4 expression is strongly upregulated upon costimulation of B cells with CD40 and IL-4. Furthermore, we find that IRF-4 can interact with signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat)6 and drive the expression of IL-4-inducible genes. The transactivating ability of IRF-4 is blocked by the repressor factor BCL-6. Since expression of IRF-4 is mostly confined to lymphoid cells, these data provide a potential mechanism by which IL-4-inducible genes can be regulated in a lineage-specific manner.

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