Pyrrothiogatain acts as an inhibitor of GATA family proteins and inhibits Th2 cell differentiation in vitro

Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 22;9(1):17335. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53856-1.


The transcription factor GATA3 is a master regulator that modulates T helper 2 (Th2) cell differentiation and induces expression of Th2 cytokines, such as IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Th2 cytokines are involved in the protective immune response against foreign pathogens, such as parasites. However, excessive production of Th2 cytokines results in type-2 allergic inflammation. Therefore, the application of a GATA3 inhibitor provides a new therapeutic strategy to regulate Th2 cytokine production. Here, we established a novel high-throughput screening system for an inhibitor of a DNA-binding protein, such as a transcription factor, and identified pyrrothiogatain as a novel inhibitor of GATA3 DNA-binding activity. Pyrrothiogatain inhibited the DNA-binding activity of GATA3 and other members of the GATA family. Pyrrothiogatain also inhibited the interaction between GATA3 and SOX4, suggesting that it interacts with the DNA-binding region of GATA3. Furthermore, pyrrothiogatain significantly suppressed Th2 cell differentiation, without impairing Th1 cell differentiation, and inhibited the expression and production of Th2 cytokines. Our results suggest that pyrrothiogatain regulates the differentiation and function of Th2 cells via inhibition of GATA3 DNA binding activity, which demonstrates the efficiency of our drug screening system for the development of novel small compounds that inhibit the DNA-binding activity of transcription factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • GATA4 Transcription Factor / chemistry*
  • GATA4 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Mice
  • Protein Binding / drug effects
  • SOXC Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Small Molecule Libraries / pharmacology*
  • Th2 Cells / cytology*
  • Th2 Cells / drug effects
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism


  • GATA4 Transcription Factor
  • SOXC Transcription Factors
  • Small Molecule Libraries