An IL-27-driven transcriptional network identifies regulators of IL-10 expression across T helper cell subsets

November 24, 2020
An IL-27-driven transcriptional network identifies regulators of IL-10 expression across T helper cell subsets
The Kuchroo lab has published new work in Cell Reports showing interleukin-27 (IL-27) is an immunoregulatory cytokine that suppresses inflammation through multiple mechanisms, including induction of IL-10, but the transcriptional network mediating its diverse functions remains unclear. Combining temporal RNA profiling with computational algorithms, we predict 79 transcription factors induced by IL-27 in T cells. We validate 11 known and discover 5 positive (Cebpb, Fosl2, Tbx21, Hlx, and Atf3) and 2 negative (Irf9 and Irf8) Il10 regulators, generating an experimentally refined regulatory network for Il10. We report two central regulators, Prdm1 and Maf, that cooperatively drive the expression of signature genes induced by IL-27 in type 1 regulatory T cells, mediate IL-10 expression in all T helper cells, and determine the regulatory phenotype of colonic Foxp3+ regulatory T cells. Prdm1/Maf double-knockout mice develop spontaneous colitis, phenocopying ll10-deficient mice. Our work provides insights into IL-27-driven transcriptional networks and identifies two shared Il10 regulators that orchestrate immunoregulatory programs across T helper cell subsets.