Talin Plays a Critical Role in the Maintenance of the Regulatory T Cell Pool

J Immunol. 2017 Jun 15;198(12):4639-4651. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1601165. Epub 2017 May 17.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Genes, bcl-2
  • Homeostasis*
  • Interleukin-2 / immunology
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / genetics
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Myeloid Cell Leukemia Sequence 1 Protein / genetics
  • Signal Transduction*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / physiology
  • Talin / deficiency
  • Talin / immunology
  • Talin / metabolism*


  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1
  • Mcl1 protein, mouse
  • Myeloid Cell Leukemia Sequence 1 Protein
  • Talin