Two histone/protein acetyltransferases, CBP and p300, are indispensable for Foxp3+ T-regulatory cell development and function

Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Nov;34(21):3993-4007. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00919-14. Epub 2014 Aug 25.


T-regulatory (Treg) cells are important to immune homeostasis, and Treg cell deficiency or dysfunction leads to autoimmune disease. A histone/protein acetyltransferase (HAT), p300, was recently found to be important for Treg function and stability, but further insights into the mechanisms by which p300 or other HATs affect Treg biology are needed. Here we show that CBP, a p300 paralog, is also important in controlling Treg function and stability. Thus, while mice with Treg-specific deletion of CBP or p300 developed minimal autoimmune disease, the combined deletion of CBP and p300 led to fatal autoimmunity by 3 to 4 weeks of age. The effects of CBP and p300 deletion on Treg development are dose dependent and involve multiple mechanisms. CBP and p300 cooperate with several key Treg transcription factors that act on the Foxp3 promoter to promote Foxp3 production. CBP and p300 also act on the Foxp3 conserved noncoding sequence 2 (CNS2) region to maintain Treg stability in inflammatory environments by regulating pCREB function and GATA3 expression, respectively. Lastly, CBP and p300 regulate the epigenetic status and function of Foxp3. Our findings provide insights into how HATs orchestrate multiple aspects of Treg development and function and identify overlapping but also discrete activities for p300 and CBP in control of Treg cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CREB-Binding Protein / genetics
  • CREB-Binding Protein / metabolism*
  • Cell Survival / immunology
  • Colitis / immunology*
  • Colitis / metabolism*
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism
  • E1A-Associated p300 Protein / genetics
  • E1A-Associated p300 Protein / metabolism*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Sequence Deletion
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism


  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Foxp3 protein, mouse
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • CREB-Binding Protein
  • E1A-Associated p300 Protein