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Inflammation negatively regulates FOXP3 and regulatory T-cell function via DBC1

Gao, Y;Tang, J;Chen, W;Li, Q;Nie, J;Lin, F;Wu, Q;Chen, Z;Gao, Z;Fan, H;Tsun, A;Shen, J;Chen, G;Liu, Z;Lou, Z;Olsen, NJ;Zheng, SG;Li, B;

Forkhead box P3 (FOXP3)-positive Treg cells are crucial for maintaining immune homeostasis. FOXP3 cooperates with its binding partners to elicit Treg cells’ signature and function, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the modulation of the FOXP3 complex remain unclear. Here we report that Deleted in breast cancer 1 (DBC1) is a key subunit of the FOXP3 complex. We found that DBC1 interacts physically with FOXP3, and depletion of DBC1 attenuates FOXP3 degradation in inflammatory conditions. Treg cells from Dbc1-deficient mice were more resistant to inflammation-mediated abrogation of Foxp3 expression and function and delayed the onset and severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and colitis in mice. These findings establish a previously unidentified mechanism regulating FOXP3 stability during inflammation and reveal a pathway for potential therapeutic modulation and intervention in inflammatory diseases.