The T-box transcription factor T-bet has been reported to augment the activity of IFN-γ reporter constructs and to be required for CD4+, but not CD8+, T cell production for IFN-γ. Despite these observations, the precise sequence targets of T-bet within the IFN-γ locus have not been identified and the nature of T-bet's role in selectively augmenting IFN-γ production in CD4+ T cells has not been elucidated. As an initial step in this process, we examined the basis of T-bet-dependent augmentation of IFN-γ reporter constructs to identify specific targets of this factor within the IFN-γ locus. Deletion of previously proposed TDB and TRU elements left T-bet-induced IFN-γ reporter activity unchanged, suggesting the existence of additional T-bet-responsive elements. We identified several additional monomeric Brachyury consensus elements within the proximal IFN-γ promoter that operate cooperatively to increase both constitutive and stimulated promoter activity. The most proximal of these Brachyury elements is most significant quantitatively in mediating T-bet-dependent promoter augmentation. Mutation of this with any of the other Brachyury elements leads to a near eradication of T-bet-dependent promoter activation. The identification of these individual monomeric Brachyury-binding sites within the IFN-γ locus should facilitate the in vivo analysis of the function of T-bet in the lineage- and background-dependent requirement for T-bet in IFN-γ gene regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1160
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • IFN-γ
  • T-bet
  • Transcription factor


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