Systems Biology of Immune Cells at the Genomic Level

Aly Azeem Khan, IGSB/CBC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, co-authored with collaborators at Genentech, Washington University, New York University, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, a new study published online in advance of print in Science Magazine. The report identifies a novel genomic regulatory element that guides the assembly of IRF4 and BATF complexes in T cells, and investigates the functional implication of these interactions. IRF4 plays a critical role in T cell differentiation (among other cells) and in regulating the immune response. Until now, it remained unsolved how IRF4 was recruited to target genes in T cells.  The discovery of the interacting partner and corresponding genomic regulatory element ends an intense hunt that has been under way for years.

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