PDCD5 regulates iNKT cell terminal maturation and iNKT1 fate decision

Ke Wang, Xinwei Zhang, Yifan Wang, Gaowen Jin, Mingyang Li, Shusong Zhang, Jie Hao, Rong Jin, Xiaojun Huang, Hounan Wu, Jun Zhang, Yingyu Chen, Qing Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Invariant natural killer T1 (iNKT1) cells are characterized by the preferential expression of T-box transcription factor T-bet (encoded by Tbx21) and the production of cytokine IFN-γ, but the relationship between the developmental process and iNKT1 lineage diversification in the thymus remains elusive. We report in the present study a crucial role of programmed cell death 5 (PDCD5) in iNKT cell terminal maturation and iNKT1 fate determination. Mice with T cell-specific deletion of PDCD5 had decreased numbers of thymic and peripheral iNKT cells with a predominantly immature phenotype and defects in response to α-galactosylceramide. Loss of PDCD5 also selectively abolished the iNKT1 lineage by reducing T-bet expression in iNKT cells at an early thymic developmental stage (before CD44 upregulation). We further demonstrated that TOX2, one of the high mobility group proteins that was highly expressed in iNKT cells at stage 1 and could be stabilized by PDCD5, promoted the permissive histone H3K4me3 modification in the promoter region of Tbx21. These data indicate a pivotal and unique role of PDCD5/TOX2 in iNKT1 lineage determination. They also suggest that the fate of iNKT1 may be programmed at the developmental stage of iNKT cells in the thymus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-756
Number of pages11
JournalCellular and Molecular Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


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