Distinct Effects of T-bet in TH1 Lineage Commitment and IFN-γ Production in CD4 and CD8 T Cells

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Science  11 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5553, pp. 338-342
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065543

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T-bet is a member of the T-box family of transcription factors that appears to regulate lineage commitment in CD4 T helper (TH) lymphocytes in part by activating the hallmark TH1 cytokine, interferon-γ (IFN-γ). IFN-γ is also produced by natural killer (NK) cells and most prominently by CD8 cytotoxic T cells, and is vital for the control of microbial pathogens. Although T-bet is expressed in all these cell types, it is required for control of IFN-γ production in CD4 and NK cells, but not in CD8 cells. This difference is also apparent in the function of these cell subsets. Thus, the regulation of a single cytokine, IFN-γ, is controlled by distinct transcriptional mechanisms within the T cell lineage.

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