Orphan nuclear receptor NR2F6 acts as an essential gatekeeper of Th17 CD4+ T cell effector functions

Cell Commun Signal. 2014 Jun 12;12:38. doi: 10.1186/1478-811X-12-38.

Abstract

Members of the evolutionarily conserved family of the chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor NR2F/COUP-TF orphan receptors have been implicated in lymphocyte biology, ranging from activation to differentiation and elicitation of immune effector functions. In particular, a CD4+ T cell intrinsic and non-redundant function of NR2F6 as a potent and selective repressor of the transcription of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (Il) 2, interferon y (ifng) and consequently of T helper (Th)17 CD4+ T cell-mediated autoimmune disorders has been discovered. NR2F6 serves as an antigen receptor signaling threshold-regulated barrier against autoimmunity where NR2F6 is part of a negative feedback loop that limits inflammatory tissue damage induced by weakly immunogenic antigens such as self-antigens. Under such low affinity antigen receptor stimulation, NR2F6 appears as a prototypical repressor that functions to "lock out" harmful Th17 lineage effector transcription. Mechanistically, only sustained high affinity antigen receptor-induced protein kinase C (PKC)-mediated phosphorylation has been shown to inactivate NR2F6, thereby displacing pre-bound NR2F6 from the DNA and, subsequently, allowing for robust NFAT/AP-1- and RORγt-mediated cytokine transcription. The NR2F6 target gene repertoire thus identifies a general anti-inflammatory gatekeeper role for this orphan receptor. Investigating these signaling pathway(s) will enable a greater knowledge of the genetic, immune, and environmental mechanisms that lead to chronic inflammation and of certain autoimmune disorders in a given individual.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity
  • COUP Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • COUP Transcription Factors / genetics
  • COUP Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Th17 Cells / immunology
  • Th17 Cells / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic

Substances

  • COUP Transcription Factors
  • Cytokines