Forkhead box P3: The peacekeeper of the immune system

Laura Passerini, Francesca Romana Santoni De Sio, Maria Grazia Roncarolo, Rosa Bacchetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Ten years ago Forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) was discovered as master gene driving CD4+CD25+ T cell regulatory (Treg) function. Since then, several layers of complexity have emerged in the regulation of its expression and function, which is not only exerted in Treg cells. While the mechanisms leading to the highly selective expression of FOXP3 in thymus-derived Treg cells still remain to be elucidated, we review here the current knowledge on the role of FOXP3 in the development of Treg cells and the direct and indirect consequences of FOXP3 mutations on multiple arms of the immune response. Finally, we summarize the newly acquired knowledge on the epigenetic regulation of FOXP3, still largely undefined in human cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Autoimmunity
  • Epigenetics
  • IPEX syndrome
  • Regulatory T cells
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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