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Nat Immunol. 2012 Apr 29;13(6):596-603. doi: 10.1038/ni.2293.

TRIM28 prevents autoinflammatory T cell development in vivo.

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Department of Immunology and Genomic Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.


TRIM28 is a component of heterochromatin complexes whose function in the immune system is unknown. By studying mice with conditional T cell-specific deletion of TRIM28 (CKO mice), we found that TRIM28 was phosphorylated after stimulation via the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) and was involved in the global regulation of CD4(+) T cells. The CKO mice had a spontaneous autoimmune phenotype that was due in part to early lymphopenia associated with a defect in the production of interleukin 2 (IL-2) as well as incomplete cell-cycle progression of their T cells. In addition, CKO T cells showed derepression of the cytokine TGF-β3, which resulted in an altered cytokine balance; this caused the accumulation of autoreactive cells of the T(H)17 subset of helper T cells and of Foxp3(+) T cells. Notably, CKO Foxp3(+) T cells were unable to prevent the autoimmune phenotype in vivo. Our results show critical roles for TRIM28 in both T cell activation and T cell tolerance.

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