Roles of interferon-regulatory factors in T-helper-cell differentiation

Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Feb;5(2):125-35. doi: 10.1038/nri1552.


Members of the interferon-regulatory factor family of transcription factors have long been known to be intracellular mediators of the effects of interferons. In recent years, interferon-regulatory factors have also been shown to have an essential role in the differentiation of T helper cells, both by modulating the functions of antigen-presenting cells and by having direct effects on the T helper cells themselves. Depending on the interferon-regulatory factor involved, the differentiation of T helper cells to either T helper 1 cells or T helper 2 cells can be influenced. In this article, we provide an overview of this relatively new and still underappreciated role of interferon-regulatory factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Transcription Factors / immunology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors