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J Immunol. 2007 Feb 15;178(4):2491-8.

Regulation of Th2 cytokine genes by p38 MAPK-mediated phosphorylation of GATA-3.

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Section of Airway Disease, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom.


GATA-3 plays a critical role in allergic diseases by regulating the release of cytokines from Th2 lymphocytes. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of GATA-3 in human T lymphocytes are not yet understood. Using small interfering RNA to knock down GATA-3, we have demonstrated its critical role in regulating IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 release from a human T cell line. Specific stimulation of T lymphocytes by costimulation of CD3 and CD28 to mimic activation by APCs induces translocation of GATA-3 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, with binding to the promoter region of Th2 cytokine genes, as determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation. GATA-3 nuclear translocation is dependent on its phosphorylation on serine residues by p38 MAPK, which facilitates interaction with the nuclear transporter protein importin-alpha. This provides a means whereby allergen exposure leads to the expression of Th2 cytokines, and this novel mechanism may provide new approaches to treating allergic diseases.

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