The new study from Turku Bioscience provides new insights into how genetic variation associated with immune mediated diseases can influence T-cell function and regulation of immune response. The study was published in Nucleic Acid Research.
Researchers from Turku Bioscience identified for the first time the binding sites for three transcription factors in human T-cells, where they regulate cell function and differentiation. In addition, they showed that the binding sites for these transcription factors very often contain genetic variations associated with immune mediated diseases that can regulate T-cell function. This, in turn, may alter the immune response in general and contribute to susceptibility for immune mediated diseases.
T-cells orchestrate regulation of the immune response. They can also cause inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis or type 1 diabetes. InFLAMES Flagship group leaders professor Riitta Lahesmaa’s and professor Laura Elo’s research groups revealed how three transcription factors co-operate to regulate human T-cell function in a different fashion compared to mouse T-cells.
–To understand the special characteristics of the human T-cell regulation, studies on human cells are necessary to advance translational research, says Professor Lahesmaa.
– We used genome-wide methods to show that these three transcription factors bind to a high number of DNA binding sites in the nuclei of the T-cells and regulate numerous genes that regulate T-cell function, comments Professor Elo.
The results provide new insights into molecular mechanisms of regulation of T-cell functions and immune response.
The study was funded by the Academy of FInland, EU Horizon 2020, The Sigrid Jusélius FoJane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.
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InFLAMES Flagship is a joint initiative of University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, Finland. The goal of the Flagship is to integrate the immunological and immunology-related research activities to develop and exploit new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for personalised medicine. InFLAMES is funded by Academy of Finland.