CCCTC-binding factor and the transcription factor T-bet orchestrate T helper 1 cell-specific structure and function at the interferon-gamma locus.

Department of Immunology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
Immunity (Impact Factor: 19.75). 10/2009; 31(4):551-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2009.08.021
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT How cell type-specific differences in chromatin conformation are achieved and their contribution to gene expression are incompletely understood. Here we identify a cryptic upstream orchestrator of interferon-gamma (IFNG) transcription, which is embedded within the human IL26 gene, compromised of a single CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) binding site and retained in all mammals, even surviving near-complete evolutionary deletion of the equivalent gene encoding IL-26 in rodents. CTCF and cohesins occupy this element in vivo in a cell type-nonspecific manner. This element is juxtaposed to two other sites located within the first intron and downstream of Ifng, where CTCF, cohesins, and the transcription factor T-bet bind in a T helper 1 (Th1) cell-specific manner. These interactions, close proximity of other elements within the locus to each other and to the gene encoding interferon-gamma, and robust murine Ifng expression are dependent on CTCF and T-bet. The results demonstrate that cooperation between architectural (CTCF) and transcriptional enhancing (T-bet) factors and the elements to which they bind is required for proper Th1 cell-specific expression of Ifng.

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