Research ArticleGENE REGULATION

Ahr-Foxp3-RORγt axis controls gut homing of CD4+ T cells by regulating GPR15

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Science Immunology  12 Jun 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 48, eaaz7277
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaz7277

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Ahr in action

GPR15 is an orphan chemokine receptor that is critical for homing of CD4+ T cells to the large intestine, but regulation of GPR15 expression is not well understood. Xiong et al. identified a role for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr) in driving expression of GPR15 in mice and humans. Ahr binds to open chromatin sites in the Gpr15 locus to enhance expression. In regulatory T cells (Tregs), the Foxp3 transcription factor can interact with Ahr to enhance binding to the Gpr15 locus and further increase expression. RORγt can compete with Ahr binding and inhibit GPR15 expression in Tregs and TH17 cells. These results reveal a mechanism by which GPR15 expression in CD4+ T cells is modulated by the Ahr-Foxp3-RORγt axis.

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