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Absence of leucine zipper in the natural FOXP3Delta2Delta7 isoform does not affect dimerization but abrogates suppressive capacity

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Item Type:Article
Title:Absence of leucine zipper in the natural FOXP3Delta2Delta7 isoform does not affect dimerization but abrogates suppressive capacity
Creators Name:Mailer, R.K., Falk, K. and Roetzschke, O.
Abstract:BACKGROUND: Phenotype and function of regulatory T cells (Treg) largely depend on the presence of the transcription factor FOXP3. In contrast to mice, human Treg cells express isoforms of this protein. Besides the full length version (FOXP3fl), an isoform lacking the exon 2 (FOXP3Delta2) is co-expressed in comparable amounts. Recently, a third splice variant has been described that in addition to exon 2 also misses exon 7 (FOXP3Delta2Delta7). Exon 7 encodes for a leucine zipper motif commonly used as structural dimerization element. Mutations in exon 7 have been linked to IPEX, a severe autoimmune disease suggested to be caused by impaired dimerization of the FOXP3 protein. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study shows that the lack of exon 7 does not affect (homo-) dimerization. Moreover, the interaction of FOXP3Delta2Delta7 to RUNX1, NFAT and NF-kB appeared to be unchanged in co-immunoprecipitation experiments and reporter gene assays, when compared to FOXP3fl and FOXP3Delta2. Nevertheless, retroviral transduction with FOXP3Delta2Delta7 failed to induce the typical Treg-associated phenotype. The expression of FOXP3-induced surface molecules such as CD25 and CTLA-4 were not enhanced in FOXP3Delta2Delta7 transduced CD4+ T cells, which also failed to exhibit any suppressive capacity. Notably, however, co-expression of FOXP3fl with FOXP3Delta2Delta7 resulted in a reduction of CD25 expression by a dominant negative effect. CONCLUSIONS: The leucine zipper of FOXP3 does not mediate dimerization or interaction with NFAT, NF-kB and RUNX1, but is indispensable for the characteristic phenotype and function in Treg cells. FOXP3Delta2Delta7 could play a role in regulating the function of the other FOXP3 isoforms and may be involved in cancer pathogenesis, as it is overexpressed by certain malignant cells.
Keywords:Base Sequence, Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit, DNA Primers, Dimerization, Exons, Forkhead Transcription Factors, Leucine Zippers, NF-kappa B, NFATC Transcription Factors, Protein Binding, Protein Isoforms, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Subcellular Fractions, Regulatory T-Lymphocytes, Genetic Transcription, Animals, Mice
Source:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
Page Range:e6104
Date:1 July 2009
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0006104
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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