Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Maintaining independence

31.01.2011
A set of neighboring immune-system genes each receive separate activation instructions despite being controlled by a common factor

As part of the immune response to foreign antigens, naïve T cells mature into different types of helper T cells. TH1 cells and TH17 cells, for example, secrete a subset of signaling factors known as cytokines that promote inflammatory responses to viral infections, while TH2 cells secrete cytokines that promote antibody secretion by B cells and drive allergic reactions.

The GATA-3 protein is known as a ‘master switch’ for TH2 differentiation, stimulating production of cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13, but new findings from a team led by Masato Kubo at the RIKEN Center for Allergy and Immunology in Yokohama have revealed an unexpected degree of complexity in this activation process[1].

“The idea that genes encoding TH2 cytokines are coordinately regulated … has been widely accepted,” says Kubo. Many of these genes are situated in the same chromosomal neighborhood, and some scientists believe that the chromosome physically loops so that DNA-bound GATA can regulate multiple sites simultaneously. However, Kubo and colleagues found that GATA appears to independently bind multiple, distinct sites that each confer regulatory control over individual TH2-associated genes.

One of these sites, HS2, specifically governs IL-4 expression, and GATA binding at this site induces chemical modification of the DNA segment containing the Il4 gene, leading to increased cytokine production. Naïve T cells from mice lacking this chromosomal region give rise to TH2 cells that generate normal levels of most cytokines, but fail to produce IL-4; these animals also show fundamental defects in their allergic response.

In parallel, the researchers identified a second GATA-binding site, CGRE, which specifically regulates production of IL-13. Like HS2, GATA interaction with this site is associated with targeted chemical modification of a nearby stretch of DNA containing the Il13 gene, and disruption of CGRE essentially eliminates production of this cytokine while leaving IL-4 production unaffected (Fig. 1). “These results came as a surprise,” says Kubo. “They indicate that the independent recruitment of GATA-3 to locus-specific regulatory elements controls the expression status of individual genes encoding TH2 cytokines.” These findings also parallel previous data suggesting that GATA coordinates expression of IL-5, another TH2 cytokine, independently of IL-13.

Other types of immune cells also secrete TH2 cytokines, and Kubo and colleagues now hope to determine whether their findings represent a broadly used mechanism for regulating production of these cytokines. “Our next priority will be exploring the relative contribution of these discrete elements to transcriptional regulation of IL-4 and IL-13 among these cell types,” he says.

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Laboratory for Signal Network, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology

Journal information

[1] Tanaka, S., Motomura, Y., Suzuki, Y., Yagi, R., Inoue, H., Miyatake, S. & Kubo, M. The enhancer HS2 critically regulates GATA-3-mediated Il4 transcription in TH2 cells. Nature Immunology 12, 77–85 (2011).

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/eng/research/6514
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch
22.05.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>