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Intestinal T cell homeostasis disrupted by epigenetic alterations

A precise balance between mature T cell subsets is important for intestinal homeostasis.

Disruption of T underlies autoimmune colitis, including (IBD). Specific transcriptional programs are activated to determine the differentiation fate of naïve T cells; however, the role of epigenetic regulation in T cell maturation in the intestine is unclear.

In this issue of the , Colby Zaph and colleagues from the University of British Columbia used a murine T cell transfer model, to demonstrate that T cell-specific expression of the histone lysine methyltransferase G9A is required for pathogenic T cell responses and colitis progression.

G9A expression in naïve T cells prevented development of Th17 and Treg subsets and was associated with increased histone methylation. Pharmacologic inhibition of G9A restored the ability of T cells to differentiate into Treg and Th17 subsets, suggesting that targeting G9A may relieve intestinal inflammatory disease.

TITLE: Methyltransferase G9A regulates T cell differentiation during murine intestinal inflammation


Journal of Clinical Investigation