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Cell. 2013 May 23;153(5):1036-49. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.04.034.

Malt1-induced cleavage of regnase-1 in CD4(+) helper T cells regulates immune activation.

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Laboratory of Host Defense, Osaka University, 3-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Regnase-1 (also known as Zc3h12a and MCPIP1) is an RNase that destabilizes a set of mRNAs, including Il6 and Il12b, through cleavage of their 3' UTRs. Although Regnase-1 inactivation leads to development of an autoimmune disease characterized by T cell activation and hyperimmunoglobulinemia in mice, the mechanism of Regnase-1-mediated immune regulation has remained unclear. We show that Regnase-1 is essential for preventing aberrant effector CD4(+) T cell generation cell autonomously. Moreover, in T cells, Regnase-1 regulates the mRNAs of a set of genes, including c-Rel, Ox40, and Il2, through cleavage of their 3' UTRs. Interestingly, T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation leads to cleavage of Regnase-1 at R111 by Malt1/paracaspase, freeing T cells from Regnase-1-mediated suppression. Furthermore, Malt1 protease activity is critical for controlling the mRNA stability of T cell effector genes. Collectively, these results indicate that dynamic control of Regnase-1 expression in T cells is critical for controlling T cell activation.

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