HDAC7, a thymus-specific class II histone deacetylase, regulates Nur77 transcription and TCR-mediated apoptosis

Franck Dequiedt, Herbert Kasler, Wolfgang Fischle, Veronique Kiermer, Marc Weinstein, Brian G. Herndier, Eric Verdin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


We report that HDAC7, a class II histone deacetylase, is highly expressed in CD4+CD8+ double-positive thymocytes. HDAC7 inhibits the expression of Nur77, an orphan receptor involved in apoptosis and negative selection, via the transcription factor MEF2D. HDAC7 is exported from the nucleus during T cell receptor activation, leading to Nur77 expression. A triple HDAC7 mutant (S155A, S318A, S448A) is not exported from the nucleus in response to TCR activation and suppresses TCR-mediated apoptosis. Conversely, a fusion of HDAC7 to the transcriptional activator VP16 activates Nur77 expression. Inhibition of HDAC7 expression by RNA interference causes increased apoptosis in response to TCR activation. These observations define HDAC7 as a regulator of Nur77 and apoptosis in developing thymocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-698
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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