Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Regulatory T-cell development: is Foxp3 the decider?

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have gone from obscurity to rock-star status in the past decade, prompting intense scrutiny—but what exactly are they? Four studies examine this question, delving deeply into the role of the transcription factor Foxp3 in governing Treg differentiation and function.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Foxp3 and its control over regulatory T-cell development.

Katie Ris


  1. Bluestone, J.A. & Abbas, A.K. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 3, 253–257 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Hori, S., Nomura, T. & Sakaguchi, S. Science 299, 1057–1061 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Marson, A. et al. Nature 445, 931–935 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Zheng, Y. et al. Nature 445, 936–940 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Gavin, M.A. et al. Nature 445, 771–775 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Wan, Y.Y. & Flavell, R.A. Nature 445, 766–770 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Sakaguchi, S., Sakaguchi, N., Asano, M., Itoh, M. & Toda, M. J. Immunol. 155, 1151–1164 (1995).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Rudensky, A.Y., Gavin, M. & Zheng, Y. Cell 126, 253–256 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Li, B. et al. Immunol. Rev. 212, 99–113 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Bacchetta, R. et al. J. Clin. Invest. 116, 1713–1722 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Gavin, M.A. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 6659–6664 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Bettelli, E. et al. Nature 441, 235–238 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Kobie, J.J. et al. J. Immunol. 177, 6780–6786 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Pennington, D.J. et al. Nature 444, 1073–1077 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Nutt, S.L., Heavey, B., Rolink, A.G. & Busslinger, M. Nature 401, 556–562 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Barnett, B., Kryczek, I., Cheng, P., Zou, W. & Curiel, T.J. Am. J. Reprod. Immunol. 54, 369–377 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Curiel, T. Regulatory T-cell development: is Foxp3 the decider?. Nat Med 13, 250–253 (2007).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing