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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

NFATc3, a lymphoid-specific NFATc family member that is calcium-regulated and exhibits distinct DNA binding specificity.

Signals transduced by the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) regulate developmental transitions in the thymus and also mediate the immunologic activation of mature, peripheral T cells. In both cases TCR stimulation leads to the assembly of the NFAT transcription complex as a result of the calcium-dependent nuclear translocation of cytosolic subunits, NFATc, and the Ras/protein kinase C-dependent induction of a nuclear subunit, NFATn. To further understand the diverse roles of antigen receptor signaling throughout T cell development, we have identified a new NFATc family member, NFATc3, that is expressed at highest levels in the thymus. NFATc3 is the product of a gene on murine chromosome 8 that is not linked to the other NFATc genes. NFATc3, like other NFATc family members, contains a conserved rel similarity domain, and also defines a region conserved among NFATc family members, the SP repeat region, characterized by the repeated motif SPxxSPxxSPrxsxx (D/E)(D/E)swl. NFATc3 activates NFAT site-dependent transcription when overexpressed, yet exhibits a pattern of DNA site specificity distinct from other NFATc proteins. Additionally, thymic NFATc3 undergoes modifications in response to agents that mimic T cell receptor signaling, including a decrease in apparent molecular mass upon elevation of intracellular calcium that is inhibited by the immunosuppressant FK506. Given the preferential expression of NFATc3 in the thymus, NFATc family members may regulate distinct subsets of genes during T cell development.[1]


  1. NFATc3, a lymphoid-specific NFATc family member that is calcium-regulated and exhibits distinct DNA binding specificity. Ho, S.N., Thomas, D.J., Timmerman, L.A., Li, X., Francke, U., Crabtree, G.R. J. Biol. Chem. (1995) [Pubmed]
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