FoxP3 provides competitive fitness to CD4+CD25+ T cells in leprosy patients via transcriptional regulation

Sudhir Kumar, Raza Ali Naqvi, Riyasat Ali, Richa Rani, Neena Khanna, D. N. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. FoxP3 have been shown to have important implications in various diseases. The present study describes the mechanism of action of FoxP3 in CD4+CD25+ T cells derived from leprosy patients. Increased molecular interactions of FoxP3 with histone deacetylases 7/9 in the nucleus of CD4+CD25+ T cells derived from borderline lepromatous leprosy/lepromatous leprosy (BL/LL) patients were found to be responsible for FoxP3-driven immune suppression activities during the progression of leprosy. Further, downregulation of CTLA-4 and CD25 genes in siFoxP3-treated PBMCs derived from BL/LL patients elucidated the transcription-activating nature of FoxP3. This observation was supported by direct binding of FoxP3 to the promoter region of the CTLA-4 and CD25 genes, and FoxP3's molecular interaction with histone acetyl transferases. The study also revealed that the increased expression of miR155 in CD4+CD25+ cells from BL/LL governs the competitive fitness of these cells. Again, reduced Annexin V & propidium iodide staining and Nur77 expression, and concomitantly increased Ki-67 positivity suggested that CD4+CD25+ cells derived from BL/LL patients are more competitively fit than those from borderline tuberculoid leprosy/tuberculoid leprosy and healthy controls. Taken together, the study shows the orchestration of FoxP3 leading to competitive fitness of Treg cells in leprosy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Competitive fitness
  • FoxP3
  • HDAC7
  • HDAC9
  • Histone acetyl transferase
  • Leprosy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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