PTENtiating autoimmunity through Treg cell deregulation

Nat Immunol. 2015 Feb;16(2):139-40. doi: 10.1038/ni.3082.


Regulatory T (Treg) cells require PTEN to block PI3K signaling while maintaining Foxp3 expression. In the absence of PTEN, Treg cells lose Foxp3 expression and their suppressive function, leading to a systemic increase in interferon-γ secretion, with consequent expansion of pathogenic T helper 1 and follicular B helper T cells and systemic autoimmunity.

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmunity / genetics*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / metabolism
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / enzymology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / pathology*


  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase