Research Perspectives:

Targeting Batf2 for infectious diseases and cancer

Reto Guler, Sugata Roy, Harukazu Suzuki and Frank Brombacher _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:26575-26582. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5576

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Reto Guler1,2, Sugata Roy3, Harukazu Suzuki3 and Frank Brombacher1,2

1 International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Cape Town Component, Cape Town, South Africa

2 Division of Immunology, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine, Health Science Faculty, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

3 RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, Division of Genomic Technologies, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Japan

Correspondence to:

Harukazu Suzuki, email:

Frank Brombacher, email:

Keywords: host-directed drug therapy, tuberculosis, transcription factors, transcriptomics, cancer

Received: August 06, 2015 Accepted: August 19, 2015 Published: September 10, 2015


The family members Batf, Batf2 and Batf3 belong to a class of transcription factors containing basic leucine zipper domains that regulate various immunological functions and control the development and differentiation of immune cells. Functional studies by others demonstrated a predominant role for Batf in controlling Th2 cell functions and lineage development of T lymphocytes as well as a critical role of Batf, Batf2 and Batf3 in CD8α+dendritic cell development. Moreover, Batf family member expression was measured in a vast collection of mouse and human cell types by cap analysis gene expression (CAGE), a recent developed sequencing technology, showing reasonable expression spectrum in immune cells consistent with previously published expression profiles. Batf and Batf3 were highly expressed in lymphocytes and the earlier moderately expressed in myeloid lineages. Batf2 was predominantly expressed in monocytes/macrophages. Functional studies in mice demonstrated that Batf2 has a central role in macrophage activation by regulating inflammatory responses during lipopolysaccharides stimulation and mycobacterial infection. Hence, Batf2 could be used as a biomarker and a potential host directed drug target in tuberculosis. Moreover, Batf2 act as a tumor suppressor gene and augmenting Batf2 in malignant cells might be an encouraging therapeutic treatment against cancer.

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