The Journal of experimental medicine

Guidance of super-enhancers in regulation of IL-9 induction and airway inflammation.

PMID 29339447


Th9 cells are prominently featured in allergic lung inflammation, but the mechanism that regulates IL-9 induction in T helper cells remains poorly defined. Here we demonstrate that formation of super-enhancers (SEs) is critical in robust induction of IL-9 and that assembly of the Il9 SEs in Th cells requires OX40-triggered chromatin acetylation. Mechanistically, we found that OX40 costimulation induces RelB expression, which recruits the histone acetyltransferase p300 to the Il9 locus to catalyze H3K27 acetylation. This allows binding of the SE factor Brd4 to organize assembly of the SE complex, which in turn drives robust IL-9 expression and Th9 cell induction. Thus, Th9 cells are strongly induced upon OX40 stimulation, and disruption of SEs abolished Th9 cell induction in vitro and inhibited Th9 cell-mediated allergic airway inflammation in vivo. Together, our data suggest that formation of SEs is essential in IL-9 expression and Th9 cell induction. These findings may have important clinical implications.