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Front Immunol. 2018 May 23;9:1094. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01094. eCollection 2018.

Uncovering the Role of RNA-Binding Proteins in Gene Expression in the Immune System.

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Centre de Physiopathologie Toulouse-Purpan, INSERM UMR1043/CNRS U5282, Toulouse, France.
Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Fighting external pathogens requires an ever-changing immune system that relies on tight regulation of gene expression. Transcriptional control is the first step to build efficient responses while preventing immunodeficiencies and autoimmunity. Post-transcriptional regulation of RNA editing, location, stability, and translation are the other key steps for final gene expression, and they are all controlled by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs). Nowadays we have a deep understanding of how transcription factors control the immune system but recent evidences suggest that post-transcriptional regulation by RBPs is equally important for both development and activation of immune responses. Here, we review current knowledge about how post-transcriptional control by RBPs shapes our immune system and discuss the perspective of RBPs being the key players of a hidden immune cell epitranscriptome.


RNA binding proteins; T-cell mediated immunity; humoral response; immune cell activation; immune cell development; immune cell homeostasis; post-transcriptional RNA regulation

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