Nature communications

Jarid2 is induced by TCR signalling and controls iNKT cell maturation.

PMID 25105474


Jarid2 is a reported component of three lysine methyltransferase complexes, polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) that methylates histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27), and GLP-G9a and SETDB1 complexes that methylate H3K9. Here we show that Jarid2 is upregulated upon TCR stimulation and during positive selection in the thymus. Mice lacking Jarid2 in T cells display an increase in the frequency of IL-4-producing promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF)(hi) immature invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells and innate-like CD8(+) cells; Itk-deficient mice, which have a similar increase of innate-like CD8(+) cells, show blunted upregulation of Jarid2 during positive selection. Jarid2 binds to the Zbtb16 locus, which encodes PLZF, and thymocytes lacking Jarid2 show increased PLZF and decreased H3K9me3 levels. Jarid2-deficient iNKT cells perturb Th17 differentiation, leading to reduced Th17-driven autoimmune pathology. Our results establish Jarid2 as a novel player in iNKT cell maturation that regulates PLZF expression by modulating H3K9 methylation.