Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20038637
J. Immunol. 2010 Feb;184(3):1268-79
The broad-complex tramtrack and bric a brac-zinc finger transcriptional regulator (BTB-ZF), promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF), was recently shown to control the development of the characteristic innate T cell phenotype and effector functions of NK T cells. Interestingly, the ectopic expression of PLZF was shown to push conventional T cells into an activated state that seems to be proinflammatory. The factors that control the normal expression of PLZF in lymphocytes are unknown. In this study, we show that PLZF expression is not restricted to NK T cells but is also expressed by a subset of gammadelta T cells, functionally defining distinct subsets of this innate T cell population. A second BTB-ZF gene, ThPOK, is important for the phenotype of the PLZF-expressing gammadelta T cells. Most importantly, TCR signal strength and expression of inhibitor of differentiation gene 3 control the frequency of PLZF-expressing gammadelta T cells. This study defines the factors that control the propensity of the immune system to produce potentially disease-causing T cell subsets.