Epigenetics in immune cells

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 |

    In this Review, Jones et al. present the evidence that epigenetic therapies can induce the expression of endogenous retroviruses and cancer–testis antigens normally silenced by DNA methylation in most somatic cells. As a consequence, a state of viral mimicry is evoked in cancer cells, leading to an innate immune response. Understanding this process has implications for combination therapy with epigenetic drugs and immunotherapies to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer.

    • Peter A. Jones
    • , Hitoshi Ohtani
    • , Ankur Chakravarthy
    •  & Daniel D. De Carvalho
  • Research |

    Specific ablation of mitochondrial complex III subunits in Treg cells in mice results in inflammatory disease, altered Treg gene expression and defective Treg function, indicating a key functional role for mitochondrial complex III in Treg cells.

    • Samuel E. Weinberg
    • , Benjamin D. Singer
    • , Elizabeth M. Steinert
    • , Carlos A. Martinez
    • , Manan M. Mehta
    • , Inmaculada Martínez-Reyes
    • , Peng Gao
    • , Kathryn A. Helmin
    • , Hiam Abdala-Valencia
    • , Laura A. Sena
    • , Paul T. Schumacker
    • , Laurence A. Turka
    •  & Navdeep S. Chandel
    Nature 565, 495-499
  • Research | | open

    Protective antibody responses depend critically on proper B cell development and differentiation at multiple stages. Here the authors show that a protein arginine methyltransferase, Prmt5 uses multiples pathways to prevent death of immature B cells, yet modulates, in p53-independent manners, the survival and differentiation of mature B cells.

    • Ludivine C. Litzler
    • , Astrid Zahn
    • , Alexandre P. Meli
    • , Steven Hébert
    • , Anne-Marie Patenaude
    • , Stephen P. Methot
    • , Adrien Sprumont
    • , Thérence Bois
    • , Daisuke Kitamura
    • , Santiago Costantino
    • , Irah L. King
    • , Claudia L. Kleinman
    • , Stéphane Richard
    •  & Javier M. Di Noia
  • Research | | open

    Regulatory T (Treg) cells are developed in the thymus, and are essential for suppressing detrimental autoimmunity. Here the authors show, using mice with dampened interleukin 2 (IL-2) signaling, that IL-2 helps position the pioneer factor SATB1 to control genome-wide chromatin accessibility to facilitate Treg cell lineage commitment in the thymus.

    • Laurent Chorro
    • , Masako Suzuki
    • , Shu Shien Chin
    • , Tere M. Williams
    • , Erik L. Snapp
    • , Livia Odagiu
    • , Nathalie Labrecque
    •  & Grégoire Lauvau
  • Research |

    Germinal center B cells undergo reiterative rounds of proliferation and selection. Melnick and colleagues show that the histone demethylase LSD1 is necessary for this reiterative process via its interactions with the transcription factor BCL6.

    • Katerina Hatzi
    • , Huimin Geng
    • , Ashley S. Doane
    • , Cem Meydan
    • , Reed LaRiviere
    • , Mariano Cardenas
    • , Cihangir Duy
    • , Hao Shen
    • , Maria Nieves Calvo Vidal
    • , Timour Baslan
    • , Helai P. Mohammad
    • , Ryan G. Kruger
    • , Rita Shaknovich
    • , Ann M. Haberman
    • , Giorgio Inghirami
    • , Scott W. Lowe
    •  & Ari M. Melnick
    Nature Immunology 20, 86-96

News and Comment