Mutations in the transcriptional regulator, Aire, cause APECED, a polyglandular autoimmune disease with monogenic transmission. Animal models of APECED have revealed that Aire plays an important role in T cell tolerance induction in the thymus, mainly by promoting ectopic expression of a large repertoire of transcripts encoding proteins normally restricted to differentiated organs residing in the periphery. The absence of Aire results in impaired clonal deletion of self-reactive thymocytes, which escape into the periphery and attack a variety of organs. In addition, Aire is a proapoptotic factor, expressed at the final maturation stage of thymic medullary epithelial cells, a function that may promote cross-presentation of the antigens encoded by Aire-induced transcripts in these cells. Transcriptional regulation by Aire is unusual in being very broad, context-dependent, probabilistic, and noisy. Structure/function analyses and identification of its interaction partners suggest that Aire may impact transcription at several levels, including nucleosome displacement during elongation and transcript splicing or other aspects of maturation.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error