The transcription factor NF-ATc1 regulates lymphocyte proliferation and Th2 cytokine production

Immunity. 1998 Jan;8(1):115-24. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80464-1.


NF-ATc1 is a member of a family of genes that encodes the cytoplasmic component of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NF-AT). In activated T cells, nuclear NF-AT binds to the promoter regions of multiple cytokine genes and induces their transcription. The role of NF-ATc1 was investigated in recombination activating gene-1 (RAG-1)-deficient blastocyst complementation assays using homozygous NF-ATc1-/- mutant ES cell lines. NF-ATc1-/-/RAG-1-/- chimeric mice showed reduced numbers of thymocytes and impaired proliferation of peripheral lymphocytes, but normal production of IL-2. Induction in vitro of Th2 responses, as demonstrated by a decrease in IL-4 and IL-6 production, was impaired in mutant T cells. These data indicate that NF-ATc1 plays roles in the development of T lymphocytes and in the differentiation of the Th2 response.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Chimera
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / immunology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Homeodomain Proteins*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / physiology*
  • Mice
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / immunology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • Cytokines
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • RAG-1 protein