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Science. 2010 Apr 16;328(5976):372-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1186068. Epub 2010 Mar 25.

Protein kinase C-theta mediates negative feedback on regulatory T cell function.

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Molecular Pathogenesis Program, Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.

Erratum in

  • Science. 2010 May 21;328(5981):974.


T cell receptor (TCR)-dependent regulatory T cell (Treg) activity controls effector T cell (Teff) function and is inhibited by the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Protein kinase C-theta (PKC-theta) recruitment to the immunological synapse is required for full Teff activation. In contrast, PKC-theta was sequestered away from the Treg immunological synapse. Furthermore, PKC-theta blockade enhanced Treg function, demonstrating PKC-theta inhibits Treg-mediated suppression. Inhibition of PKC-theta protected Treg from inactivation by TNF-alpha, restored activity of defective Treg from rheumatoid arthritis patients, and enhanced protection of mice from inflammatory colitis. Treg freed of PKC-theta-mediated inhibition can function in the presence of inflammatory cytokines and thus have therapeutic potential in control of inflammatory diseases.

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