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Immunity. 2013 Apr 18;38(4):655-68. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.12.004. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Roquin paralogs 1 and 2 redundantly repress the Icos and Ox40 costimulator mRNAs and control follicular helper T cell differentiation.

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Institute of Molecular Immunology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Marchioninistrasse 25, Munich, Germany.


The Roquin-1 protein binds to messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and regulates gene expression posttranscriptionally. A single point mutation in Roquin-1, but not gene ablation, increases follicular helper T (Tfh) cell numbers and causes lupus-like autoimmune disease in mice. In T cells, we did not identify a unique role for the much lower expressed paralog Roquin-2. However, combined ablation of both genes induced accumulation of T cells with an effector and follicular helper phenotype. We showed that Roquin-1 and Roquin-2 proteins redundantly repressed the mRNA of inducible costimulator (Icos) and identified the Ox40 costimulatory receptor as another shared mRNA target. Combined acute deletion increased Ox40 signaling, as well as Irf4 expression, and imposed Tfh differentiation on CD4(+) T cells. These data imply that both proteins maintain tolerance by preventing inappropriate T cell activation and Tfh cell differentiation, and that Roquin-2 compensates in the absence of Roquin-1, but not in the presence of its mutated form.

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