Transcriptional control of regulatory T cells

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2014;381:83-124. doi: 10.1007/82_2014_373.


Regulatory T cells (Tregs) constitute unique T cell lineage that plays a key role for immunological tolerance. Tregs are characterized by the expression of the forkhead box transcription factor Foxp3, which acts as a lineage-specifying factor by determining the unique suppression profile of these immune cells. Here, we summarize the recent progress in understanding how Foxp3 expression itself is epigenetically and transcriptionally controlled, how the Treg-specific signature is achieved and how unique properties of Treg subsets are defined by other transcription factors. Finally, we will discuss recent studies focusing on the molecular targeting of Tregs to utilize the specific properties of this unique cell type in therapeutic settings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Transcription Factors