Th17 cells play a significant role in inflammatory and autoimmune responses. Although a number of molecular pathways that contribute to the lineage differentiation of T cells have been discovered, the mechanisms by which lineage commitment occurs are not fully understood. Transcription factors play a key role in driving T cells toward specific lineages. We have identified a role for the transcription factor Kruppel-like factor (KLF) 4 in the development of IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells. KLF4 was required for the production of IL-17, and further, chromatin immunoprecipation analysis demonstrated binding of KLF4 to the IL-17 promoter, indicating a direct effect on the regulation of IL-17. Further, KLF4-deficient T cells upregulated expression of retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γt similar to wild-type during the polarization process toward Th17, suggesting that these two transcription factors are regulated independently.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy