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Annu Rev Immunol. 2006;24:607-56.

Regulation of Th2 differentiation and Il4 locus accessibility.

Author information

1
Harvard Medical School, CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA. ansel@cbr.med.harvard.edu

Abstract

Helper T cells coordinate immune responses through the production of cytokines. Th2 cells express the closely linked Il4, Il13, and Il5 cytokine genes, whereas these same genes are silenced in the Th1 lineage. The Th1/Th2 lineage choice has become a textbook example for the regulation of cell differentiation, and recent discoveries have further refined and expanded our understanding of how Th2 differentiation is initiated and reinforced by signals from antigen-presenting cells and cytokine-driven feedback loops. Epigenetic changes that stabilize the active or silent state of the Il4 locus in differentiating helper T cells have been a major focus of recent research. Overall, the field is progressing toward an integrated model of the signaling and transcription factor networks, cis-regulatory elements, epigenetic modifications, and RNA interference mechanisms that converge to determine the lineage fate and gene expression patterns of differentiating helper T cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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