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Interactions among the transcription factors Runx1, RORγt and Foxp3 regulate the differentiation of interleukin 17–producing T cells

Nature Immunology volume 9, pages 12971306 (2008) | Download Citation


  • A Corrigendum to this article was published on 01 February 2009

This article has been updated


The molecular mechanisms underlying the differentiation of interleukin 17–producing T helper cells (TH-17 cells) are still poorly understood. Here we show that optimal transcription of the gene encoding interleukin 17 (Il17) required a 2-kilobase promoter and at least one conserved noncoding (enhancer) sequence, CNS-5. Both cis-regulatory elements contained regions that bound the transcription factors RORγt and Runx1. Runx1 influenced TH-17 differentiation by inducing RORγt expression and by binding to and acting together with RORγt during Il17 transcription. However, Runx1 also interacts with the transcription factor Foxp3, and this interaction was necessary for the negative effect of Foxp3 on TH-17 differentiation. Thus, our data support a model in which the differential association of Runx1 with Foxp3 and with RORγt regulates TH-17 differentiation.

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  • 14 November 2008

    NOTE: In the version of this article initially published, two panels in Figure 9a were horizontally inverted. The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.


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We thank S. Goenka for reading the manuscript and for technical suggestions for the reporter assay; M. Ono (Kyoto University) for Runx1 and Foxp3 expression plasmids; Y. He (Duke University) for the MSCV-hCD2-RORγt plasmid; G.J. Kersh (Emory University) for the Myc-RORγt-GFP plasmid; G.P. Nolan (Stanford University) for Phoenix cells; D.R. Littman (New York University) for monoclonal anti-RORγt; Y. Huang and Z.Y. Hu for technical support in real time PCR experiments; and X.Y. Yan for help with making reporter constructs.

Author information


  1. Mucosal Immunity Section, Laboratory of Host Defenses, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

    • Fuping Zhang
    • , Guangxun Meng
    •  & Warren Strober


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F.Z. and W.S. designed experiments; F.Z. did all of the experiments and wrote the manuscript; G.M. contributed Supplementary Fig. 3 and was involved in coimmunoprecipitation experiments; and W.S. directed the project and helped to write the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Warren Strober.

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