ABSTRACT: Mice deficient in the adaptor Ndfip1 develop inflammation at sites of environmental antigen exposure. We show here that such mice had fewer inducible regulatory T cells (iT(reg) cells). In vitro, Ndfip1-deficient T cells expressed normal amounts of the transcription factor Foxp3 during the first 48 h of iT(reg) cell differentiation; however, this expression was not sustained. Abortive Foxp3 expression was caused by production of interleukin 4 (IL-4) by Ndfip1(-/-) cells. We found that Ndfip1 expression was transiently upregulated during iT(reg) cell differentiation in a manner dependent on transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). Once expressed, Ndfip1 promoted degradation of the transcription factor JunB mediated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase Itch, thus preventing IL-4 production. On the basis of our data, we propose that TGF-β signaling induces Ndfip1 expression to silence IL-4 production, thus permitting iT(reg) cell differentiation.
Nature Immunology 11/2011; 13(1):77-85. · 26.01 Impact Factor