Research ArticleIMMUNOGENOMICS

Maintenance of macrophage transcriptional programs and intestinal homeostasis by epigenetic reader SP140

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Science Immunology  03 Mar 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 9, eaag3160
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aag3160

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PHDs crack the histone code

Epigenetic readers that recognize histone modifications facilitate histone code–based transcriptional programming. Bromodomain- and plant homeodomain (PHD)–containing proteins often serve as readers of acetylation or methylation on histones, respectively. Mehta et al. have examined the function of SP140, a bromodomain- and PHD domain–containing reader in immune cells, and report that SP140 plays an essential role in repressing expression of lineage-inappropriate genes in macrophages. The authors also propose that SP140 polymorphisms associated with the development of Crohn’s disease represent functional loss of SP140. These studies advance our understanding of how epigenetic readers regulate immune responses in normal and diseased states.