NFAT proteins: key regulators of T-cell development and function

Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Jun;5(6):472-84. doi: 10.1038/nri1632.


Since the discovery of the first nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) protein more than a decade ago, the NFAT family of transcription factors has grown to include five members. It has also become clear that NFAT proteins have crucial roles in the development and function of the immune system. In T cells, NFAT proteins not only regulate activation but also are involved in the control of thymocyte development, T-cell differentiation and self-tolerance. The functional versatility of NFAT proteins can be explained by their complex mechanism of regulation and their ability to integrate calcium signalling with other signalling pathways. This Review focuses on the recent advances in our understanding of the regulation, mechanism of action and functions of NFAT proteins in T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcineurin / immunology
  • Calcium Signaling / immunology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / deficiency
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphopoiesis / immunology*
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nuclear Proteins / deficiency
  • Nuclear Proteins / immunology*
  • Self Tolerance
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • Transcription Factors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transcription Factors / deficiency
  • Transcription Factors / immunology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Calcineurin