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The IRE1a-XBP1 pathway promotes T helper cell differentiation by resolving secretory stress and accelerating proliferation

By Jhuma Pramanik, Xi Chen, Gozde Kar, T Gomes, Johan Henriksson, Zhichao Miao, Kedar Natarajan, Andrew N. J. McKenzie, Bidesh Mahata, Sarah A Teichmann

Posted 15 Dec 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/235010 (published DOI: 10.1186/s13073-018-0589-3)

The IRE1a-XBP1 pathway, a conserved adaptive mediator of the unfolded protein response, is indispensable for the development of secretory cells. It maintains endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis by facilitating protein folding and enhancing secretory capacity of the cells. Its role in immune cells is emerging. It is involved in dendritic cell, plasma cell and eosinophil development and differentiation. Using genome-wide approaches, integrating ChIPmentation and mRNA-sequencing data, we have elucidated the regulatory circuitry governed by the IRE1a-XBP1 pathway in type-2 T helper cells (Th2). We show that the XBP1 transcription factor is activated by splicing in vivo in T helper cell lineages. We report a comprehensive repertoire of XBP1 target genes in Th2 lymphocytes. We found that the pathway is conserved across cell types in terms of resolving secretory stress, and has T helper cell-specific functions in controlling activation-dependent Th2 cell proliferation and regulating cytokine expression in addition to secretion. These results provide a detailed picture of the regulatory map governed by the XBP1 transcription factor during Th2 lymphocyte activation.

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