Uncovering the Role of RNA-Binding Proteins in Gene Expression in the Immune System

Front Immunol. 2018 May 23;9:1094. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01094. eCollection 2018.


Fighting external pathogens requires an ever-changing immune system that relies on tight regulation of gene expression. Transcriptional control is the first step to build efficient responses while preventing immunodeficiencies and autoimmunity. Post-transcriptional regulation of RNA editing, location, stability, and translation are the other key steps for final gene expression, and they are all controlled by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs). Nowadays we have a deep understanding of how transcription factors control the immune system but recent evidences suggest that post-transcriptional regulation by RBPs is equally important for both development and activation of immune responses. Here, we review current knowledge about how post-transcriptional control by RBPs shapes our immune system and discuss the perspective of RBPs being the key players of a hidden immune cell epitranscriptome.

Keywords: RNA binding proteins; T-cell mediated immunity; humoral response; immune cell activation; immune cell development; immune cell homeostasis; post-transcriptional RNA regulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Immune System / cytology
  • Immune System / embryology
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Immune System / metabolism*
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology
  • Myeloid Cells / metabolism
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • RNA-Binding Proteins