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Immunology. 2009 Sep;128(1):16-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2009.03042.x.

Domain analyses of the Runx1 transcription factor responsible for modulating T-cell receptor-beta/CD4 and interleukin-4/interferon-gamma expression in CD4(+) peripheral T lymphocytes.

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Department of Molecular Immunology, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Graduate School of Life Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


The Runx1 transcription factor is one of the master regulators of T-lymphocyte differentiation. There have been several reports trying to assign a domain within the Runx1 protein that is responsible for gene expression in thymocytes. The Runx1 domains involved in regulating the expression of several genes in peripheral CD4(+) T cells were analysed. It was observed that Runx1 over-expression enhanced the surface expression of CD4 and CD69 molecules via its activation domain and VWRPY domain, and decreased that of T-cell receptor-beta via its activation domain. Runx1 over-expression enhanced interferon-gamma expression via its activation and VWRPY domains, and abolished interleukin-4 expression through its activation domain. Transduction of Runx1 did not down-regulate CD4 expression until 72 hr of culture, but the repression of CD4 expression became evident after 96 hr. The main region responsible for repressing CD4 expression was the inhibitory domain of Runx1. Taken together, these results lead to a proposal that the regions in Runx1 responsible for modulating gene expression are distinct in thymocytes and in peripheral CD4(+) T cells.

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