Kruppel-associated box (KRAB) proteins in the adaptive immune system

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The ability of adaptive immune system to protect higher vertebrates from pathogens resides in the ability of B and T cells to express different antigen specific receptors and to respond to different threats by activating distinct differentiation and/or activation pathways. In the past 10 years, the major role of epigenetics in controlling molecular mechanisms responsible for these peculiar features and, more in general, for lymphocyte development has become evident. KRAB-ZFPs is the widest family of mammalian transcriptional repressors, which function through the recruitment of the co-factor KRAB-Associated Protein 1 (KAP1) that in turn engages histone modifiers inducing heterochromatin formation. Although most of the studies on KRAB proteins have been performed in embryonic cells, more recent reports highlighted a relevant role for these proteins also in adult tissues. This article will review the role of KRAB-ZFP and KAP1 in the epigenetic control of mouse and human adaptive immune cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-148
Number of pages11
JournalNucleus (Austin, Tex.)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • B cells
  • epigenetic
  • human
  • KAP1
  • mouse
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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