c-Maf regulates IL-10 expression during Th17 polarization

Jiangnan Xu, Yu Yang, Guixing Qiu, Girdhari Lal, Zhihong Wu, David E. Levy, Jordi C. Ochando, Jonathan S. Bromberg, Yaozhong Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


IL-10 production by Th17 cells is critical for limiting autoimmunity and inflammatory responses. Gene array analysis on Stat6 and T-bet double-deficient Th17 cells identified the Th2 transcription factor c-Maf to be synergistically up-regulated by IL-6 plus TGFβ and associated with Th17 IL-10 production. Both c-Maf and IL-10 induction during Th17 polarization depended on Stat3, but not Stat6 or Stat1, and mechanistically differed from IL-10 regulation by Th2 or IL-27 signals. TGFβ was also synergistic with IL-27 to induce c-Maf, and it induced Stat1-independent IL-10 expression in contrast to IL-27 alone. Retroviral transduction of c-Maf was able to induce IL-10 expression in Stat6-deficient CD4 and CD8 T cells, and c-Maf directly transactivated IL-10 gene expression through binding to a MARE (Maf recognition element) motif in the IL-10 promoter. Taken together, these data reveal a novel role for c-Maf in regulating T effector development, and they suggest that TGFβ may antagonize Th17 immunity by IL-10 production through c-Maf induction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6226-6236
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 May 2009


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