A new dexamethasone-induced gene of the leucine zipper family protects T lymphocytes from TCR/CD3-activated cell death

Immunity. 1997 Dec;7(6):803-12. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80398-2.


By comparing mRNA species expressed in dexamethasone (DEX)-treated and untreated murine thymocytes, we have identified a gene, glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ), encoding a new member of the leucine zipper family. GILZ was found expressed in normal lymphocytes from thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes, whereas low or no expression was detected in other nonlymphoid tissues, including brain, kidney, and liver. In thymocytes and peripheral T cells, GILZ gene expression is induced by DEX. Furthermore, GILZ expression selectively protects T cells from apoptosis induced by treatment with anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody but not by treatment with other apoptotic stimuli. This antiapoptotic effect correlates with inhibition of Fas and Fas ligand expression. Thus, GILZ is a candidate transcription factor involved in the regulation of apoptosis of T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Gene Expression
  • Leucine Zippers / genetics
  • Leucine Zippers / immunology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptor-CD3 Complex, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • Subcellular Fractions
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / radiation effects
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transfection
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • fas Receptor / biosynthesis
  • fas Receptor / immunology


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Fasl protein, mouse
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptor-CD3 Complex, Antigen, T-Cell
  • fas Receptor
  • Dexamethasone

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF024519