Randeep Singh, Tizong Miao, Alistair L. J. Symonds, Becky Omodho, Suling Li and Ping Wang
T-bet is important for differentiation of cytotoxic CD8 and Th1 CD4 T cells. We have discovered that Egr2 and 3 are potent inhibitors of T-bet function in CD4 and CD8 effector T cells. Egr2 and 3 were essential to suppress Th1 differentiation in Th2 and Th17 conditions in vitro and also to control IFN-γ–producing CD4 and CD8 T cells in response to virus infection. Together with Egr2 and 3, T-bet is induced in naive T cells by Ag stimulation, but Egr2 and 3 expression was inhibited by Th1–inducing cytokines. We found that Egr2 and 3 physically interact with the T-box domain of T-bet, blocking T-bet DNA binding and inhibiting T-bet–mediated production of IFN-γ. Thus, Egr2 and 3 are antagonists of T-bet function in effector T cells and are important for the control of inflammatory responses of T cells.