YTHDF2/m6 A/NF-κB axis controls anti-tumor immunity by regulating intratumoral Tregs

EMBO J. 2023 Aug 1;42(15):e113126. doi: 10.15252/embj.2022113126. Epub 2023 Jun 22.


N6 -methyladenosine (m6 A) in messenger RNA (mRNA) regulates immune cells in homeostasis and in response to infection and inflammation. The function of the m6 A reader YTHDF2 in the tumor microenvironment (TME) in these contexts has not been explored. We discovered that the loss of YTHDF2 in regulatory T (Treg) cells reduces tumor growth in mice. Deletion of Ythdf2 in Tregs does not affect peripheral immune homeostasis but leads to increased apoptosis and impaired suppressive function of Treg cells in the TME. Elevated tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling in the TME promotes YTHDF2 expression, which in turn regulates NF-κB signaling by accelerating the degradation of m6 A-modified transcripts that encode NF-κB-negative regulators. This TME-specific regulation of Treg by YTHDF2 points to YTHDF2 as a potential target for anti-cancer immunotherapy, where intratumoral Treg cells can be targeted to enhance anti-tumor immune response while avoiding Treg cells in the periphery to minimize undesired inflammations.

Keywords: Anti-tumor immunity; Intratumoral Tregs; NF-κB regulation; YTHDF2; m6A.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Immunotherapy
  • Inflammation
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • NF-kappa B

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE216960