Transcription factors are DNA-binding proteins, bound to specific DNA sequences that regulate gene expression. Whether activating or repressing gene regulation, these proteins control the transfer of genetic information from DNA to RNA. Transcription factor modulation of target genes leads to new molecules appearing on an immune cell’s surface, including receptors for cytokines that stimulate cell proliferation and differentiation. The mechanisms regulating the signaling pathways in the immune system are diverse and complicated. A greater understanding of the presence and regulation control of transcription factors in immune cells may provide novel therapeutic opportunities for immune diseases.
Detection of transcription factors in immune cell populations, particularly in populations at low frequencies and in a heterogeneous environment, may be challenging when using classical methods such as western blot analysis. Employing an application such as flow cytometry, that permits the characterization of transcription factors within discreet immune cell subpopulations, delivers a powerful approach to analyzing immune response.