Family members of the steroid/thyroid hormone family are well known for sensing
external cues in order to regulate the expression of specific genes thereby controlling immune reaction of the organism. We discovered a critical function of NR2F6 in T cells, loss of NR2F6
enhances pro-inflammatory cytokine transcription and subsequently cancer immunosurveillance.
Despite extensive linking of nuclear receptor function with specific CD4 T helper subsets, research on the functional roles and mechanisms of specific NRs in CD4 follicular T helper cells (Tfh) and germinal center (GC) B cells during the germinal center reaction is just emerging. We investigate how NR2F6 regulates immune tolerance in specific immune cell types and their implications for autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) and multiple sclerosis.
The immunological challenge of how to discriminate self from non-self is particularly complex at the intestinal mucosa. Immune cells have to discriminate between harmless food antigens, antigens derived from the microbiota and pathogens and their toxins. Within the gastrointestinal tract, nuclear receptors are targets of numerous naturally occurring and man-made compounds. How the nuclear receptor NR2F6 regulates gut homeostasis in the complex interplay between intestinal epithelial cells, the immune system and the microbiota is an area of research.