An updated view on transcription factor GATA3-mediated regulation of Th1 and Th2 cell differentiation

Int Immunol. 2011 Jul;23(7):415-20. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxr029. Epub 2011 Jun 1.


CD4 T(h) are critical for orchestrating adaptive immune responses. The expression of the transcription factor GATA3 (GATA-binding protein 3) is up-regulated or down-regulated during T(h)2 or T(h)1 cell differentiation, respectively. Furthermore, GATA3 is responsible for induction of T(h)2 differentiation and represses T(h)1 differentiation. In this review, we present an updated view on the molecular mechanisms through which GATA3 regulates T(h)1/T(h)2 differentiation. During T(h)2 cell differentiation, GATA3 directly binds to the T(h)2 cytokine gene locus at several regions and regulates expression. On the other hand, GATA3 inhibits T(h)1 cell differentiation by preventing up-regulation of IL-12 receptor β2 and STAT4 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 4) and neutralization of Runx3 (runt-related transcription factor 3) function through protein-protein interaction. GATA3 may also directly act on the Ifng gene. In summary, GATA3 serves as a transcriptional activator or repressor through direct action on transcriptional machinery and/or affecting chromatin remodeling at many critical loci encoding cytokines, cytokine receptors, signaling molecules as well as transcription factors that are involved in the regulation of T(h)1 and T(h)2 differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor / immunology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Th1 Cells / cytology*
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / cytology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Cytokines
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor