Regulation of Expression of IL-4 Alleles: Analysis Using a Chimeric GFP/IL-4 Gene

Immunity. 2001 Jan;14(1):1-11. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(01)00084-x.


CD4 cells from mice heterozygous for an IL-4 and a GFP/IL-4 gene frequently express a single allele. Analysis of IL-4 or GFP production by cells from recently primed Th2 cells indicates that essentially all are competent to transcribe either allele but have a low probability of doing so. By contrast, long-term Th2 clones show distinct and heritable ratios in the proportion of cells that express IL-4 or GFP. We conclude that in the course of Th2 priming an early efficient event renders both alleles capable of being inefficiently transcribed; a second, less frequent event occurs that renders one allele more competent, accounting for the differential expression of IL-4 and GFP in different clones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics*
  • Luminescent Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Th2 Cells / cytology
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators / genetics


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • Gata3 protein, mouse
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Trans-Activators
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Interleukin-4