Posttranscriptional T cell gene regulation to limit Tfh cells and autoimmunity

Curr Opin Immunol. 2015 Dec;37:21-7. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2015.09.003. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are crucial to induce protective extrafollicular and germinal center antibody responses against protein antigens. Over the last decade, control of Tfh cell numbers has emerged as an important regulatory checkpoint which, when perturbed, may lead to production of autoantibodies. Recent progress in understanding how Tfh cells are kept limiting has revealed an important role for posttranscriptional control of gene expression mediated by microRNAs such as miR-17 ∼ 92, miR-155 and miR-146a, and the RNA-binding proteins Roquin and Regnase. Additionally, T cell microRNAs dysregulated in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have been shown to influence processes such as DNA hypomethylation, IL-2 and CCL5 secretion, and Treg function, which contribute to autoantibody formation and tissue damage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / metabolism
  • Chemokine CCL5 / genetics
  • Chemokine CCL5 / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation
  • Germinal Center / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / genetics
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribonucleases / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism


  • Autoantibodies
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Interleukin-2
  • MicroRNAs
  • RC3H1 protein, human
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Ribonucleases
  • ZC3H12A protein, human