JunB Controls Intestinal Effector Programs in Regulatory T Cells.
ABSTRACT: Foxp3-expressing regulatory T (Treg) cells are critical mediators of immunological tolerance to both self and microbial antigens. Tregs activate context-dependent transcriptional programs to adapt effector function to specific tissues; however, the factors controlling tissue-specific gene expression in Tregs remain unclear. Here, we find that the AP-1 transcription factor JunB regulates the intestinal adaptation of Tregs by controlling select gene expression programs in multiple Treg subsets. Treg-specific ablation of JunB results in immune dysregulation characterized by enhanced colonic T helper cell accumulation and cytokine production. However, in contrast to its classical binding-partner BATF, JunB is dispensable for maintenance of effector Tregs as well as most specialized Treg subsets. In the Peyer's patches, JunB activates a transcriptional program facilitating the maintenance of CD25- Tregs, leading to the complete loss of T follicular regulatory cells in the absence of JunB. This defect is compounded by loss of a separate effector program found in both major colonic Treg subsets that includes the cytolytic effector molecule granzyme B. Therefore, JunB is an essential regulator of intestinal Treg effector function through pleiotropic effects on gene expression.
Project description:Foxp3-expressing CD4+ regulatory T (Treg) cells need to differentiate into effector Treg (eTreg) cells to maintain immune homeostasis. T-cell receptor (TCR)-dependent induction of the transcription factor IRF4 is essential for eTreg differentiation, but how IRF4 activity is regulated in Treg cells is still unclear. Here we show that the AP-1 transcription factor, JunB, is expressed in eTreg cells and promotes an IRF4-dependent transcription program. Mice lacking JunB in Treg cells develop multi-organ autoimmunity, concomitant with aberrant activation of T helper cells. JunB promotes expression of Treg effector molecules, such as ICOS and CTLA4, in BATF-dependent and BATF-independent manners, and is also required for homeostasis and suppressive functions of eTreg. Mechanistically, JunB facilitates the accumulation of IRF4 at a subset of IRF4 target sites, including those located near Icos and Ctla4. Thus, JunB is a critical regulator of IRF4-dependent Treg effector programs, highlighting important functions for AP-1 in Treg-mediated immune homeostasis.
Project description:CD4+ T-helper cells producing interleukin-17 (IL-17), known as T-helper 17 (TH17) cells, comprise heterogeneous subsets that exhibit distinct pathogenicity. Although pathogenic and non-pathogenic TH17 subsets share a common ROR?t-dependent TH17 transcriptional programme, transcriptional regulatory mechanisms specific to each of these subsets are mostly unknown. Here we show that the AP-1 transcription factor JunB is critical for TH17 pathogenicity. JunB, which is induced by IL-6, is essential for expression of ROR?t and IL-23 receptor by facilitating DNA binding of BATF at the Rorc locus in IL-23-dependent pathogenic TH17 cells, but not in TGF-?1-dependent non-pathogenic TH17 cells. Junb-deficient T cells fail to induce TH17-mediated autoimmune encephalomyelitis and colitis. However, JunB deficiency does not affect the abundance of gut-resident non-pathogenic TH17 cells. The selective requirement of JunB for IL-23-dependent TH17 pathogenicity suggests that the JunB-dependent pathway may be a therapeutic target for autoimmune diseases.
Project description:T helper 17 (Th17) cell plasticity contributes to both immunity and autoimmunity; however, the factors that control lineage flexibility are mostly unknown. Here we show the activator protein-1 (AP-1) factor JunB is an essential regulator of Th17 cell identity. JunB activates expression of Th17 lineage-specifying genes and coordinately represses genes controlling Th1 and regulatory T-cell fate. JunB supports Th17 cell identity by regulating key AP-1 complex constituents. In particular, JunB limits the expression of the subset repressor IRF8, and impedes access of JunD to regulatory regions of alternative effector loci. Although dispensable for homeostatic Th17 cell development, JunB is required for induction and maintenance of Th17 effector responses in the inflammatory contexts of both acute infection and chronic autoimmunity in mice. Through regulatory network analysis, we show that JunB is a core regulator of global transcriptional programs that promote Th17 cell identity and restrict alternative CD4+ T-cell potential.AP-1 family transcription factors regulate CD4+ T helper cell differentiation. Here the authors show that the AP-1 member JunB is a nonredundant regulator of transcriptional programs that support Th17 cell identity and restrain alternative Th1 and Treg cell fates in inflammatory contexts of acute fungal infection and chronic autoimmunity.
Project description:Interleukin (IL)-17-producing T helper (Th17) cells are crucial for host defense against extracellular microbes and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Here we show that the AP-1 transcription factor JunB is required for Th17 cell development. Junb-deficient CD4+ T cells are able to develop in vitro into various helper T subsets except Th17. The RNA-seq transcriptome analysis reveals that JunB is crucial for the Th17-specific gene expression program. Junb-deficient mice are completely resistant to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a Th17-mediated inflammatory disease, and naive T helper cells from such mice fail to differentiate into Th17 cells. JunB appears to activate Th17 signature genes by forming a heterodimer with BATF, another AP-1 factor essential for Th17 differentiation. The mechanism whereby JunB controls Th17 cell development likely involves activation of the genes for the Th17 lineage-specifying orphan receptors ROR?t and ROR? and reduced expression of Foxp3, a transcription factor known to antagonize ROR?t function.
Project description:BATF family transcription factors (BATF, BATF2 and BATF3) form hetero-trimers with JUNB and either IRF4 or IRF8 to regulate cell fate in T cells and dendritic cells in vivo. While each combination of the hetero-trimer has a distinct role, some degree of cross-compensation was observed. The basis for the differential actions of IRF4 and IRF8 with BATF factors and JUNB is still unknown. We propose that the differences in function between these hetero-trimers may be caused by differences in their DNA binding preferences. While all three BATF family transcription factors have similar binding preferences when binding as a hetero-dimer with JUNB, the cooperative binding of IRF4 or IRF8 to the hetero-dimer/DNA complex could change the preferences. We used Spec-seq, which allows for the efficient and accurate determination of relative affinity to a large collection of sequences in parallel, to find differences between cooperative DNA binding of IRF4, IRF8 and BATF family members.We found that without IRF binding, all three hetero-dimer pairs exhibit nearly the same binding preferences to both expected wildtype binding sites TRE (TGA(C/G)TCA) and CRE (TGACGTCA). IRF4 and IRF8 show the very similar DNA binding preferences when binding with any of the three hetero-dimers. No major change of binding preferences was found in the half-sites between different hetero-trimers. IRF proteins bind with substantially lower affinity with either a single nucleotide spacer between IRF and BATF binding site or with an alternative mode of binding in the opposite orientation. In addition, the preference to CRE binding site was reduced with either IRF binding in all BATF-JUNB combinations.The specificities of BATF, BATF2 and BATF3 are all very similar as are their interactions with IRF4 and IRF8. IRF proteins binding adjacent to BATF sites increases affinity substantially compared to sequences with spacings between the sites, indicating cooperative binding through protein-protein interactions. The preference for the type of BATF binding site, TRE or CRE, is also altered when IRF proteins bind. These in vitro preferences aid in the understanding of in vivo binding activities.
Project description:To understand the mechanisms through which JunB regulates Tregs-mediated immune regulation, we examined the global gene expression profiles in the JunB WT and KO Tregs by performing RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis. Overall design: To study if JunB regulated Treg suppressive function, we created a mouse strain with Treg-specific ablation of Junb (Foxp3YFP-Cre×JunbFlox/Flox) by crossing the Foxp3YFP-Cre mice and the JunbFlox/Flox strain. Non-Treg CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells in the KO mice produced a larger amount of IFNγ and TNFα after PMA and ionomycin stimulation, whereas IL-17 production was not influenced. To understand the mechanisms through which JunB regulates Tregs-mediated immune regulation, we examined the global gene expression profiles in the JunB WT and KO Tregs by performing RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis. The subsequent Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) revealed that the JunB deficiency reduced the expression of a panel of genes reported to be enriched in Tregs.
Project description:To understand molecular mechanisms by which JunB regulates Treg function, we performed ChIP-seq analysis of JunB-deficient and control Treg cells (CD4+ CD25hi). Overall design: ChIP-seq analysis of JunB,BATF,IRF4 in in vitro-activated Treg cells.
Project description:To understand molecular mechanisms by which JunB regulates Treg function, we performed RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analyses of JunB-deficient and control Treg cells (CD4+ CD25hi). This SuperSeries is composed of the SubSeries listed below. Overall design: RNA-seq analysis of WT and JunB-deficient Treg cells. ChIP-seq analysis of JunB,BATF and IRF4 in in vitro-activated Treg cells. Refer to individual Series
Project description:The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor BATF is expressed in multiple Th subsets and cooperates with other factors to regulate gene transcription. BATF activates lineage-specific cytokines in Th subsets, activating IL-9 in Th9 cells and IL-17 in Th17 cells, but not IL-9 or IL-17 in the reciprocal subset. The mechanism for this restricted activity is unclear. In this report, we define BATF binding partners that contribute to Th subset-specific functions. Although BATF and IRF4 are expressed in greater amounts in Th9 than Th17, increased expression of both factors is not sufficient to induce IL-9 in Th17 cells. BATF also requires heterodimer formation with Jun family members to bind DNA and induce gene expression. Using primary mouse T cell culture, we observed that JunB and c-Jun, but not JunD, promote IL-9 production in Th9 cells. Ectopic expression of BATF with either JunB or c-Jun generates modest, but significant, increases in IL-9 production in Th17 cells, suggesting that the low expression of Jun family members is one factor limiting the ability of BATF to induce IL-9 in Th17 cells. We further identified that Bach2 positively regulates IL-9 production by directly binding to the Il9 gene and by increasing transcription factor expression in Th9 cells. Strikingly, cotransduction of Bach2 and BATF significantly induces IL-9 production in both Th9 and Th17 cells. Taken together, our results reveal that JunB, c-Jun, and Bach2 cooperate with BATF to contribute to the specificity of BATF-dependent cytokine induction in Th subsets.
Project description:Tregs are crucial for maintaining maternal immunotolerance against the semiallogeneic fetus. We investigated the elusive transcriptional profile and functional adaptation of human uterine Tregs (uTregs) during pregnancy. Uterine biopsies, from placental bed (materno-fetal interface) and incision site (control) and blood were obtained from women with uncomplicated pregnancies undergoing cesarean section. Tregs and CD4+ non-Tregs were isolated for transcriptomic profiling by Cel-Seq2. Results were validated on protein and single cell levels by flow cytometry. Placental bed uTregs showed elevated expression of Treg signature markers, including FOXP3, CTLA-4, and TIGIT. Their transcriptional profile was indicative of late-stage effector Treg differentiation and chronic activation, with increased expression of immune checkpoints GITR, TNFR2, OX-40, and 4-1BB; genes associated with suppressive capacity (HAVCR2, IL10, LAYN, and PDCD1); and transcription factors MAF, PRDM1, BATF, and VDR. uTregs mirrored non-Treg Th1 polarization and tissue residency. The particular transcriptional signature of placental bed uTregs overlapped strongly with that of tumor-infiltrating Tregs and was remarkably pronounced at the placental bed compared with uterine control site. In conclusion, human uTregs acquire a differentiated effector Treg profile similar to tumor-infiltrating Tregs, specifically at the materno-fetal interface. This introduces the concept of site-specific transcriptional adaptation of Tregs within 1 organ.