Epigenetics in immune cells

Definition

Epigenetics in immune cells is the study of changes in gene activity that persist following immune cell division and do not involve alteration of the nucleotide sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation and chromatic remodelling and they provide a molecular basis for cellular memory.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    Autoimmunity can arise when tolerance mechanisms break down. Theofilopoulos and colleagues review how loss of peripheral tolerance, often driven by innate nucleic-acid sensors, leads to the activation of autoreactive lymphocytes that underlie many autoimmune diseases.

    • Argyrios N Theofilopoulos
    • , Dwight H Kono
    •  & Roberto Baccala
    Nature Immunology 18, 716–724
  • Research | | open

    The protein kinase Lkb1 has been shown to limit conventional T cell activation and pro-inflammatory functions. Here the authors show that Lkb1 also maintains Foxp3 expression and suppressive function in regulatory T (Treg) cells, and that Treg-specific Lkb1-deficient mice develop fatal autoimmune disease.

    • Di Wu
    • , Yuechen Luo
    • , Wei Guo
    • , Qing Niu
    • , Ting Xue
    • , Fei Yang
    • , Xiaolei Sun
    • , Song Chen
    • , Yuanyuan Liu
    • , Jingru Liu
    • , Zhina Sun
    • , Chunxiao Zhao
    • , Huifang Huang
    • , Fang Liao
    • , Zhongchao Han
    • , Dongming Zhou
    • , Yongguang Yang
    • , Guogang Xu
    • , Tao Cheng
    •  & Xiaoming Feng
  • Research |

    Xue and colleagues show that Runx3−/− CD8+ T effector cells aberrantly upregulate genes characteristic of TFH cell lineage and exhibit impaired induction of cytotoxic molecules.

    • Qiang Shan
    • , Zhouhao Zeng
    • , Shaojun Xing
    • , Fengyin Li
    • , Stacey M Hartwig
    • , Jodi A Gullicksrud
    • , Samarchith P Kurup
    • , Natalija Van Braeckel-Budimir
    • , Yao Su
    • , Matthew D Martin
    • , Steven M Varga
    • , Ichiro Taniuchi
    • , John T Harty
    • , Weiqun Peng
    • , Vladimir P Badovinac
    •  & Hai-Hui Xue
  • Research | | open

    The transcriptional program activated by Smad2/Smad3 is critical for the induction and function of regulatory T cells. Here the authors show that the expression of Smad3 is modulated by the complementary functions of a methyltransferase Ash1l and an lncRNA lnc-Smad3 on the promoter accessibility of the mouse Smad3 locus.

    • Meng Xia
    • , Juan Liu
    • , Shuxun Liu
    • , Kun Chen
    • , Hongyu Lin
    • , Minghong Jiang
    • , Xiaoqing Xu
    • , Yiquan Xue
    • , Wei Liu
    • , Yan Gu
    • , Xiang Zhang
    • , Zhiqing Li
    • , Lin Yi
    • , Youcun Qian
    • , Chen Zhou
    • , Ru Li
    • , Xuan Zhang
    • , Zhanguo Li
    •  & Xuetao Cao
  • Research | | open

    Low dose of the heat shock protein gp96 can drive effector T-cell responses, yet high-dose gp96 is immunosuppressive by expanding the regulatory T-cell population. Here the authors explain this dichotomy by showing that high-dose gp96 can drive plasmacytoid dendritic cell expression of neuropilin-1, thus functionally supporting interaction with Treg cells.

    • Lauren B. Kinner-Bibeau
    • , Abigail L. Sedlacek
    • , Michelle N. Messmer
    • , Simon C. Watkins
    •  & Robert J. Binder

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