Yamashita M, Ukai-Tadenuma M, Miyamoto T, Sugaya K, Hosokawa H, Hasegawa A, Kimura M, Taniguchi M, DeGregori J, Nakayama T.
GATA3 expression is essential for type-2 helper T (Th2) cell differentiation. GATA3-mediated chromatin remodeling at the Th2 cytokine gene loci, including Th2-specific long range histone hyperacetylation of the interleukin (IL)-13/IL-4 gene loci, occurs in developing Th2 cells. However, little is known about the role of GATA3, if any, in the maintenance of established remodeled chromatin at the Th2 cytokine gene loci. Here, we established a Cre/LoxP-based site-specific recombination system in cultured CD4 T cells using a unique adenovirus-mediated gene transfer technique. This system allowed us to investigate the effect of loss of GATA3 expression in in vitro differentiated Th2 cells. After ablation of GATA3, we detected reduced production of all Th2 cytokines, increased DNA methylation at the IL-4 gene locus, and decreased histone hyperacetylation at the IL-5 gene locus but not significantly so at the IL-13/IL-4 gene loci. Thus, GATA3 plays important roles in the maintenance of the Th2 phenotype and continuous chromatin remodeling of the specific Th2 cytokine gene locus through cell division.