T-bet Employs Diverse Regulatory Mechanisms to Repress Transcription

Trends Immunol. 2012 Feb;33(2):78-83. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2011.10.005. Epub 2011 Nov 29.


Lineage-defining transcription factors are responsible for activating the signature genes required for a given cell fate. They are also needed to repress the genetic programs associated with alternative lineage decisions. The T-box transcription factor T-bet is required for CD4(+) T helper 1 (Th1) cell differentiation. Numerous studies have explored the mechanisms by which T-bet activates the Th1 gene profile, but until recently not much was known about the mechanisms that T-bet utilizes to negatively regulate alternative T helper cell differentiation pathways such as the Th2 and Th17 fates. Here, we discuss new advances in the field that highlight the diverse mechanisms that T-bet employs to antagonize the gene programs for alternative T helper cell fates.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • T-Box Domain Proteins