Early growth response gene 2 (Egr2), which encodes a zinc finger transcription factor, is rapidly and transiently induced in various cell types independently of de novo protein synthesis. Although a role for Egr2 is well established in T-cell development, Egr2 expression and its biological function in dendritic cells (DCs) have not yet been described. Here, we demonstrate Egr2 expression during DC development, and its role in DC-mediated immune responses. Egr2 is expressed in the later stage of DC development from BM precursor cells. Even at steady state, Egr2 is highly expressed in mouse splenic DCs. Egr2-knockdown (Egr2-KD) DCs showed increased levels of major histocompatability complex (MHC) class I and II and co-stimulatory molecules, and enhanced antigen uptake and migratory capacities. Furthermore, Egr2-KD abolished SOCS1 expression and signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) activation during DC development, probably resulting in the enhancement of IL-12 expression and Th1 immunogenicity of a DC vaccine. DC-mediated cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation and antitumor immunity were significantly enhanced by Egr2-KD, and impaired by Egr2 overexpression in antigen-pulsed DC vaccines. These data suggest that Egr2 acts as an intrinsic negative regulator of DC immunogenicity and can be an attractive molecular target for DC vaccine development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy