GATA-3 function in innate and adaptive immunity

Immunity. 2014 Aug 21;41(2):191-206. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.06.006.


The zinc-finger transcription factor GATA-3 has received much attention as a master regulator of T helper 2 (Th2) cell differentiation, during which it controls interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, and IL-13 expression. More recently, GATA-3 was shown to contribute to type 2 immunity through regulation of group 2 innate lymphoid cell (ILC2) development and function. Furthermore, during thymopoiesis, GATA-3 represses B cell potential in early T cell precursors, activates TCR signaling in pre-T cells, and promotes the CD4(+) T cell lineage after positive selection. GATA-3 also functions outside the thymus in hematopoietic stem cells, regulatory T cells, CD8(+) T cells, thymic natural killer cells, and ILC precursors. Here we discuss the varied functions of GATA-3 in innate and adaptive immune cells, with emphasis on its activity in T cells and ILCs, and examine the mechanistic basis for the dose-dependent, developmental-stage- and cell-lineage-specific activity of this transcription factor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity*
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Lineage / immunology
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor / immunology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Interleukin-13 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-13 / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Interleukin-5 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-5 / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • IL4 protein, human
  • IL5 protein, human
  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-5
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Interleukin-4