Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells that guard all parts of the body. They have the unique ability to prime T cells and generate primary immune responses. Their journey beginning with the development from precursor cells and ending with their death is controlled by a group of transcription factors. Some of the transcription factors like PU.1 are involved in more than one stage of DC life. Other transcription factors including Ikaros and JAK3 are involved in the development of more than one cell type. For a long time, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development, differentiation, maturation, and other stages of DC life were not well understood. However, in recent years novel information has been published by many researchers to better understand the molecular mechanisms of the development and function of DCs in immunological diseases such as asthma, cancer, autoimmunity, and transplantation. This review will discuss the various transcription factors and signaling pathways involved in each stage of the life cycle of DCs.
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