Ahlfors H, Limaye A, Elo LL, Tuomela S, Burute M, Gottimukkala KV, Notani D, Rasool O, Galande S, Lahesmaa R
Special AT-rich binding protein 1 (SATB1) is a global chromatin organizer and a transcription factor regulated by interleukin-4 (IL-4) during the early T helper 2 (Th2) cell differentiation. Here we show that SATB1 controls multiple IL-4 target genes involved in human Th cell polarization or function. Among the genes regulated by SATB1 is that encoding the cytokine IL-5, which is predominantly produced by Th2 cells and plays a key role in the development of eosinophilia in asthma. We demonstrate that, during the early Th2 cell differentiation, IL-5 expression is repressed through direct binding of SATB1 to the IL-5 promoter. Furthermore, SATB1 knockdown-induced up-regulation of IL-5 is partly counteracted by down-regulating GATA3 expression using RNAi in polarizing Th2 cells. Our results suggest that a competitive mechanism involving SATB1 and GATA3 regulates IL-5 transcription, and provide new mechanistic insights into the stringent regulation of IL-5 expression during human Th2 cell differentiation.