A characteristic feature of allergic diseases is the appearance of a subset of CD4+ cells known as TH2 cells, which is controlled by transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. We aimed to analyze the role of CREM, a known transcriptional activator of T cells, with regard to TH2 responses and allergic diseases in men and mice. Here we demonstrate that T cells of asthmatic children and PBMCs of adults with atopy express lower mRNA levels of the transcription factor CREM compared to cells from healthy controls. CREM deficiency in murine T cells results in enhanced TH2 effector cytokines in vitro and in vivo and CREM-/- mice demonstrate stronger airway hyperresponsiveness in an OVA-induced asthma model. Mechanistically, both direct CREM binding to the IL-4 and IL-13 promoter as well as a decreased IL-2 dependent STAT5 activation suppress the TH2 response. Accordingly, mice selectively overexpressing CREMα in T cells display decreased TH2 type cytokines in vivo and in vitro, and are protected in an asthma model. Thus, we provide evidence that CREM is a negative regulator of the TH2 response and determines the outcome of allergic asthma.
Verjans, E., Ohl, K., Reiss, L. K., van Wijk, F., Toncheva, A. A., Wiener, A., … Tenbrock, K. (2015). The cAMP response element modulator (CREM) regulates TH2 mediated inflammation. Oncotarget, 6(36). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6041