Follicular helper T (Tfh) cells provide essential help for humoral immune response. Transcriptional factor Bcl6 is the master regulator for Tfh generation and is induced very early after T cell activation in a CD28-dependent manner, but how CD28 signal promotes Bcl6 early expression remains unknown. Here we found that CD28 signal quickly induces expression of the H3K36me2 methytransferase Nsd2, which is required for Bcl6 expression as early as the first cell division after T cell activation. Nsd2 deficiency in T cells leads to decreased Bcl6 expression, impaired Tfh generation, compromised germinal center response, and delayed virus clearance. Ectopic Bcl6 expression rescues the Tfh defect of Nsd2 KO cells. ICOS signal is dispensable for early Nsd2 induction but required for sustained Nsd2 expression, which is critical for Tfh maintenance. Overexpression of Nsd2 increases Bcl6 expression and enhances Tfh generation; 4-mo-old mice even develop spontaneous Tfh. Overall, our study reveals Nsd2 as a critical epigenetic regulator for Tfh differentiation.
Histone methyltransferase Nsd2 is required for follicular helper T cell differentiation
X. Long and L. Zhang contributed equally to this work.
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Xuehui Long, Le Zhang, Yang Zhang, Min Min, Bichun Lin, Jingjing Chen, Xiaojie Ma, Sulan Zhai, Zhenming Cai, Yingxia Liu, Yanlai Lu, Nan Che, Wenfeng Tan, Jun Qin, Xiaoming Wang; Histone methyltransferase Nsd2 is required for follicular helper T cell differentiation. J Exp Med 6 January 2020; 217 (1): e20190832. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20190832
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