Interplay of transcription factors in T-cell differentiation and function: The role of Runx

Won Fen Wong, Kazuyoshi Kohu, Tomoki Chiba, Takehito Sato, Masanobu Satake

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past years, increasing numbers of distinct subsets have been discovered and identified for a T lymphocytes' entity. Differentiation and function of each T cell subset are controlled by a specific master transcription factor. Importantly, Runt-related transcription factors, particularly Runx1 and Runx3, interplay with these master regulators in various aspects of T cells' immunity. In this review article, we first explain roles of Th-Pok and Runx3 in differentiation of CD4 versus CD8 single positive cells, and later focus on cross-regulation of Th-Pok and Runx3 and their relationship with other factors such as TCR strength. Next, we provide evidences for the direct interplay of Runx1/3 with T-bet and GATA3 during Th1 versus Th2 commitment to activate or silence transcription of signature cytokine genes, IFNγ and IL4. Lastly, we explain feed-forward relationship between Runx1 and Foxp3 and discuss roles of Runx1 in regulatory T cells' suppressive activity. This review highlights an essential importance of Runx molecules in controlling various T cell subsets' differentiation and functions through molecular interplay with the master transcription factors in terms of protein-protein interaction as well as regulation of gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb


  • Cell differentiation
  • Gene expression
  • Gene targeting
  • T lymphocytes
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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