Lymphoid enhancer factor interacts with GATA-3 and controls its function in T helper type 2 cells


Dr T. Nakayama, Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan. Email:
Senior author: Toshinori Nakayama


GATA-3 is the master transcription factor for T helper 2 (Th2) cell differentiation and is critical for the expression of Th2 cytokines. Little is known, however, about the nature of the functional molecular complexes of GATA-3. We identified a high-mobility group (HMG)-box type transcription factor, lymphoid enhancer factor 1 (LEF-1), in the GATA-3 complex present in Th2 cells using a Flag-calmodulin-binding peptide (CBP)-tag based proteomics method. The interaction between GATA-3 and LEF-1 was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation experiments using LEF-1-introduced T-cell lineage TG40 cells. The HMG-box domain of LEF-1 and two zinc finger domains of GATA-3 were found to be important for the physical association. The introduction of LEF-1 into developing Th2 cells resulted in the suppression of Th2 cytokine production. The suppression was significantly lower in the cells into which a HMG-box-deleted LEF-1 mutant was introduced. Moreover, LEF-1 inhibited the binding activity of GATA-3 to the interleukin (IL)-5 promoter. These results suggest that LEF-1 is involved in the GATA-3 complex, while also regulating the GATA-3 function, such as the induction of Th2 cytokine expression via the inhibition of the DNA-binding activity of GATA-3.