Affiliations: Department of Molecular Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Toho University, Ohmori-nishi, Ohta-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Note:  Correspondence to: Dr. Taku Naito, Department of Molecular Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Toho University, Ohmori-nishi 5-21-16, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 143-8540, Japan. Tel.: +81 3 3762 4151; Fax: +81 3 5493 5426; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Adaptive immunity plays a crucial role of protection of our body from pathogens while its deregulation leads to allergy and autoimmunity. T cells represent a major branch of lymphocytes, which are responsible for adaptive immunity, which represent a major pathway of immune function, which depend on their T-cell regulation. Cytokines also contribute to regulation. Over the past two decades, epigenetic mechanisms have been increasingly recognized to play a fundamental role in the proper execution of genetic programs that regulate immune function. The role of epigenetics in T-cell development and function (collectively called T-cell biology here) has been intensively studied, and epigenetic machinery is emerging as a potential therapeutic target to cure allergy and autoimmunity or to enhance immune response and immunological memory. In this article, the current findings and progresses of epigenetic study in T-cell biology are reviewed, focusing on genetic studies of so called epigenetic “writers” and “erasers” that catalyze addition and removal of covalent DNA and histone modifications.
Keywords: DNA methylation, histone modifications, Th subsets