Cell-permeable Foxp3 protein alleviates autoimmune disease associated with inflammatory bowel disease and allergic airway inflammation

Je Min Choi, Jae Hun Shin, Myung Hyun Sohn, Martha J. Harding, Jong Hyun Park, Zuzana Tobiasova, Da Young Kim, Stephen E. Maher, Wook Jin Chae, Sung Ho Park, Chun Geun Lee, Sang Kyou Lee, Alfred L.M. Bothwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Foxp3 is a key transcription factor for differentiation and function of regulatory T (Treg) cells that is critical for maintaining immunological self-tolerance. Therefore, increasing Treg function by Foxp3 transduction to regulate an inflammatory immune response is an important goal for the treatment of autoimmune and allergic diseases. Here we have generated a cell-permeable Foxp3 protein by fusion with the unique human HHph-1-PTD (protein transduction domain), examined its regulatory function in T cells, and characterized its therapeutic effect in autoimmune and allergic disease models. HHph-1-Foxp3 was rapidly and effectively transduced into cells within 30 min and conferred suppressor function to CD4+CD25- T cells aswell as directly inhibiting T-cell activation and proliferation. Systemic delivery of HHph-1 Foxp3 remarkably inhibited the autoimmune symptoms of scurfy mice and the development of colitis induced by scurfy or wild-type CD4 T cells. Moreover, intranasal delivery of HHph-1-Foxp3 strongly suppressed ovalbumin-induced allergic airway inflammation. These results demonstrate the clinical potential of the cell-permeable recombinant HHph-1-Foxp3 protein in autoimmune and hypersensitive allergic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18575-18580
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 26 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergy
  • Autoimmunity
  • Immunotherapy
  • Protein transduction domain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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