Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22042. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022042. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

Enhanced chromatin accessibility and recruitment of JUNB mediate the sustained IL-4 expression in NFAT1 deficient T helper 2 cells.

Author information

School of Life Sciences and Immune Synapse Research Center, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.


Nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) is a family of transcription factors composed of five proteins. Among them, NFAT1 is a predominant NFAT protein in CD4(+) T cells. NFAT1 positively regulates transcription of a large number of inducible cytokine genes including IL-2, IL-4, IL-5 and other cytokines. However, disruption of NFAT1 results in an unexpected increase of IL-4. In this study, we have investigated the role of NFAT1 in regulation of IL-4 gene expression in T helper 2 cells (Th2) from an epigenetic viewpoint. NFAT1 deficient Th2 cells showed a sustained IL-4 expression while wild type (WT) cells reduced its expression. We tested whether epigenetic maintenance and changes in the chromatin architecture of IL-4 promoter locus play a role in differential IL-4 transcription between in WT and NFAT1 deficient Th2 cells. Compared with WT, NFAT1 deficient CD4(+) Th2 cells exhibited enhanced chromatin accessibility with permissive histone modification and DNA demethylation in the IL-4 promoter region. Transcription factors bound to IL-4 promoter region in the absence of NFAT1 were identified by Micro-LC/LC-MS/MS analysis. Among the candidates, preferential recruitment of JUNB to the IL-4 promoter was confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. Overexpression of JUNB together with SATB1 synergistically upregulated IL-4 promoter activity, while knockdown JUNB significantly reduced IL-4 expression. Our results suggest that the prolonged IL-4 expression in NFAT1 deficient Th2 cells is mediated by preferential binding of JUNB/SATB1 to the IL-4 promoter with permissive chromatin architecture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center