Talin, a cytoskeletal protein essential in mediating integrin activation, has been previously shown to be involved in the regulation of T cell proliferation and function. In this study, we describe a role for talin in maintaining the homeostasis and survival of the regulatory T (Treg) cell pool. T cell-specific deletion of talin in Tln1fl/flCd4Cre mice resulted in spontaneous lymphocyte activation, primarily due to numerical and functional deficiencies of Treg cells in the periphery. Peripheral talin-deficient Treg cells were unable to maintain high expression of IL-2Rα, resulting in impaired IL-2 signaling and ultimately leading to increased apoptosis through downregulation of prosurvival proteins Bcl-2 and Mcl-1. The requirement for talin in maintaining high IL-2Rα expression by Treg cells was due, in part, to integrin LFA-1-mediated interactions between Treg cells and dendritic cells. Collectively, our data suggest a critical role for talin in Treg cell-mediated maintenance of immune homeostasis.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.