Foxp3 targets revealed

The first comprehensive -- but preliminary -- list of Foxp3 targets in mice could provide clues to how the protein helps regulate the immune system

Chandra Shekhar
Jan 21, 2007
The first comprehensive catalogue of mouse genes targeted by the transcriptional factor Foxp3 appears in two papers published in this week's Nature. The lists from both studies don't always match, but the combined findings represent a key step in understanding how the protein helps regulatory T-cells maintain immune system tolerance and prevent autoimmune diseases."The papers provide the first look at relating the transcriptional DNA-binding activity of Foxp3 with specific target genes," said Fred Ramsdell of ZymoGenetics in Seattle, who was not involved in either study. "This is something the field has been looking to do for the past five years."Expressed primarily in regulatory T-cells, Foxp3 is essential to both their development and normal function. Loss-of-function Foxp3 mutations in mice and humans result in fatal autoimmune diseases.A research team led by Alexander Rudensky of the University of Washington in Seattle, with Ye Zheng as first author, used ex vivo T-cells...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?