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Immunity. 2008 Aug 15;29(2):205-16. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.06.008.

The nuclear orphan receptor NR2F6 suppresses lymphocyte activation and T helper 17-dependent autoimmunity.

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Department for Medical Genetics, Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


The protein kinase C (PKC) family of serine-threonine kinases plays a central role in T lymphocyte activation. Here, we identify NR2F6, a nuclear zinc-finger orphan receptor, as a critical PKC substrate and essential regulator of CD4(+) T cell activation responses. NR2F6 potently antagonized the ability of T helper 0 (Th0) and Th17 CD4(+) T cells to induce expression of key cytokine genes such as interleukin-2 (IL-2) and IL-17. Mechanistically, NR2F6 directly interfered with the DNA binding of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NF-AT):activator protein 1 (AP-1) but not nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappa B) and, subsequently, transcriptional activity of the NF-AT-dependent IL-17A cytokine promoter. Consistent with our model, Nr2f6-deficient mice had hyperreactive lymphocytes, developed a late-onset immunopathology, and were hypersusceptible to Th17-dependent experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Our study establishes NR2F6 as a transcriptional repressor of IL-17 expression in Th17-differentiated CD4(+) T cells in vitro and in vivo.

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