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Keywords:

  • CD4/helper T-cells (Th cells Th0, Th1, Th2, Th17);
  • regulatory T (Treg) cells;
  • enhancers;
  • master regulator transcription factors;
  • environmental response factors;
  • GATA3

Summary

Mature naive CD4 T-cells possess the potential for an array of highly specialized functions, from inflammatory to potently suppressive. This potential is encoded in regulatory DNA elements and is fulfilled through modification of chromatin and selective activation by the collaborative function of diverse transcription factors in response to environmental cues. The mechanisms and strategies employed by transcription factors for the programming of CD4 T-cell subsets will be discussed. In particular, the focus will be on co-operative activity of environmental response factors in the initial activation of regulatory DNA elements and chromatin alteration, and the subsequent role of ‘master regulator’ transcription factors in defining the fidelity and environmental responsiveness of different CD4 T-cell subsets.