Phosphoproteomics Reveals Regulatory T Cell-Mediated DEF6 Dephosphorylation That Affects Cytokine Expression in Human Conventional T Cells

Rubin N. Joshi, Nadine A. Binai, Francesco Marabita, Zhenhua Sui, Amnon Altman, Albert J. R. Heck, Jesper Tegner, Angelika Schmidt

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Regulatory T cells (Tregs) control key events of immune tolerance, primarily by suppression of effector T cells. We previously revealed that Tregs rapidly suppress T cell receptor (TCR)-induced calcium store depletion in conventional CD4CD25 T cells (Tcons) independently of IP levels, consequently inhibiting NFAT signaling and effector cytokine expression. Here, we study Treg suppression mechanisms through unbiased phosphoproteomics of primary human Tcons upon TCR stimulation and Treg-mediated suppression, respectively. Tregs induced a state of overall decreased phosphorylation as opposed to TCR stimulation. We discovered novel phosphosites (T595_S597) in the DEF6 (SLAT) protein that were phosphorylated upon TCR stimulation and conversely dephosphorylated upon coculture with Tregs. Mutation of these DEF6 phosphosites abrogated interaction of DEF6 with the IP receptor and affected NFAT activation and cytokine transcription in primary Tcons. This novel mechanism and phosphoproteomics data resource may aid in modifying sensitivity of Tcons to Treg-mediated suppression in autoimmune disease or cancer.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - Sep 25 2017

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