Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) interacts with NFATc2 to modulate interleukin 4 gene expression Academic Article uri icon

publication date

  • 2002

abstract

  • Proteins of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) family of transcription factors are critical for lymphocyte activation in the immune system. In particular, NFATs are important regulators of inducible IL-4 gene expression. Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) is an immune system-restricted interferon regulatory factor that is required for lymphocyte activation, but its molecular functions in the T lineage remain to be elucidated. We demonstrate that IRF4 potently synergizes with NFATc2 to specifically enhance NFATc2-driven transcriptional activation of the IL-4 promoter. This function is dependent on the physical interaction of IRF4 with NFATc2. IRF4 synergizes with NFATc2 and the IL-4-inducing transcription factor, c-maf, to augment IL-4 promoter activity as well as to elicit significant levels of endogenous IL-4 production. Furthermore, na?ve T helper cells from mice lacking IRF4 are compromised severely for the production of IL-4 and other Th2 cytokines. The identification of IRF4 as a partner for NFATc2 in IL-4 gene regulation provides an important molecular function for IRF4 in T helper cell differentiation.
  • Proteins of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) family of transcription factors are critical for lymphocyte activation in the immune system. In particular, NFATs are important regulators of inducible IL-4 gene expression. Interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) is an immune system-restricted interferon regulatory factor that is required for lymphocyte activation, but its molecular functions in the T lineage remain to be elucidated. We demonstrate that IRF4 potently synergizes with NFATc2 to specifically enhance NFATc2-driven transcriptional activation of the IL-4 promoter. This function is dependent on the physical interaction of IRF4 with NFATc2. IRF4 synergizes with NFATc2 and the IL-4-inducing transcription factor, c-maf, to augment IL-4 promoter activity as well as to elicit significant levels of endogenous IL-4 production. Furthermore, na├»ve T helper cells from mice lacking IRF4 are compromised severely for the production of IL-4 and other Th2 cytokines. The identification of IRF4 as a partner for NFATc2 in IL-4 gene regulation provides an important molecular function for IRF4 in T helper cell differentiation.