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Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Jul;3(7):534-43.

Regulation of IL4 gene expression by T cells and therapeutic perspectives.

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Tumour Immunology Programme D030, German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Interleukin-4 (IL-4) is crucial for the differentiation of naive T helper (T(H)) cells into the T(H)2 effector cells that promote humoral (antibody) immunity and provide protection against intestinal helminths. IL-4 also has a central role in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation. Many transcription factors are involved in the regulation of expression of the gene encoding IL-4. Initiation of transcription of the gene encoding IL-4 in naive T(H) cells is regulated by the T(H)2-specific transcription factor GATA3, whereas acute expression of the gene encoding IL-4 in T(H)2 cells is mediated by inducible, ubiquitous transcription factors after antigen encounter. This review focuses on acute activation of the gene encoding IL-4 in T cells and discusses therapeutic perspectives at the transcriptional level.

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