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Essential Kinases and Transcriptional Regulators and Their Roles in Autoimmunity

Department of Clinical Immunology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510630, China
Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology-Immunology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20057, USA
Department of Internal Medicine, Ohio State University College of Medicine and Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43201, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2019, 9(4), 145;
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Autoimmunity Diseases)
PDF [897 KB, uploaded 23 April 2019]


Kinases and transcriptional regulators are fundamental components of cell signaling that are expressed on many types of immune cells which are involved in secretion of cytokines, cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Both play important roles in biological responses in health as well as in illnesses such as the autoimmune diseases which comprise at least 80 disorders. These diseases are caused by complex genetic and environmental interactions that lead to a breakage of immunologic tolerance and a disruption of the balance between self-reactive cells and regulatory cells. Kinases or transcriptional regulatory factors often have an abnormal expression in the autoimmune cells that participate in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. These abnormally expressed kinases or transcriptional regulators can over-activate the function of self-reactive cells to produce inflammatory cytokines or down-regulate the activity of regulatory cells, thus causing autoimmune diseases. In this review we introduce five kinds of kinase and transcriptional regulator related to autoimmune diseases, namely, members of the Janus kinase (JAK) family (JAK3 and/or tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2)), fork head box protein 3 (Foxp3), the retinoic acid-related orphan receptor gamma t (RORγt), and T-box expressed in T cells (T-bet) factors. We also provide a mechanistic insight into how these kinases and transcriptional regulators affect the function of the immune cells related to autoimmune diseases, as well as a description of a current drug design targeting these kinases and transcriptional regulators. Understanding their exact role helps offer new therapies for control of the inflammatory responses that could lead to clinical improvement of the autoimmune diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: autoimmunity; kinases; transcriptional factors autoimmunity; kinases; transcriptional factors

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Deng, Y.N.; Bellanti, J.A.; Zheng, S.G. Essential Kinases and Transcriptional Regulators and Their Roles in Autoimmunity. Biomolecules 2019, 9, 145.

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