Monday, March 10, 2014

Regulation of MHC Class I Expression by Foxp3 and Its Effect on Regulatory T Cell Function

Expression of MHC class I molecules, which provide immune surveillance against intracellular pathogens, is higher on lymphoid cells than on any other cell types. In T cells, this is a result of activation of class I transcription by the T cell enhanceosome consisting of Runx1, CBFβ, and LEF1. We now report that MHC class I transcription in T cells also is enhanced by Foxp3, resulting in higher levels of class I in CD4+CD25+ T regulatory cells than in conventional CD4+CD25– T cells. Interestingly, the effect of Foxp3 regulation of MHC class I transcription is cell type specific: Foxp3 increases MHC class I expression in T cells but represses it in epithelial tumor cells. In both cell types, Foxp3 targets the upstream IFN response element and downstream core promoter of the class I gene. Importantly, expression of MHC class I contributes to the function of CD4+CD25+ T regulatory cells by enhancing immune suppression, both in in vitro and in vivo. These findings identify MHC class I genes as direct targets of Foxp3 whose expression augments regulatory T cell function (read more) Print this post

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