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Keywords:

  • human T lymphocytes;
  • chimeric receptors;
  • FOXP3;
  • splice variants;
  • inhibition of T-cell activation

Summary

FOXP3 has been identified as a key regulator of immune homeostasis. Mutations within the FOXP3 gene result in dysregulated CD4+ T-cell function and elevated cytokine production, leading to lymphoproliferative disease. FOXP3 expression in CD4+ T cells is primarily detected with the CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T-cell population. In humans the protein is detected as a doublet following immunoblot analysis. The lower band of the doublet has been identified as a splice isoform lacking a region corresponding to exon 2. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the splice variant form lacking exon 2 and a new novel splice variant lacking both exons 2 and 7, were functional inhibitors of CD4+ T-cell activation. The data generated showed that full-length FOXP3 and both splice variant forms of the protein were functional repressors of CD4+ T-cell activation.