Targeting ion channel TRPM7 promotes the thymic development of Regulatory T cells by increasing IL-2-dependent STAT5 activation [article]

Suresh K Mendu, Michael S Schappe, Emily K Moser, Julia K Krupa, Jason S Rogers, Eric J Stipes, Clare A Parker, Thomas J Braciale, Bimal N Desai
2018 bioRxiv   pre-print
The thymic development of regulatory T cells (Treg), the crucial suppressors of the effector T cells (Teff), is governed by the transcription factor FOXP3. Despite the clinical significance of Treg cells, there is a dearth of druggable molecular targets capable of increasing Treg numbers in vivo. We report a surprising discovery that TRPM7 restrains Treg development by negatively regulating STAT5-dependent Foxp3 expression. The deletion of Trpm7 potentiates the thymic development of Treg cells,
more » ... leads to a significantly higher frequency of functional Treg cells in the periphery and renders the mice highly resistant to T cell-dependent hepatitis. The deletion of Trpm7 or the inhibition of TRPM7 channel activity by the FDA-approved prodrug FTY720, increases IL-2 sensitivity through a feed forward positive feedback loop involving high IL-2Ra expression and STAT5 activation. Enhanced IL-2 signaling increases the expression of Foxp3 in thymocytes and promotes the development of Treg cells. Thus, TRPM7 emerges as the first ion channel that can be drugged to increase Treg numbers, revealing a novel pharmacological path toward the induction of immune tolerance.
doi:10.1101/330233 fatcat:dkwfmz4yavhjdjwqrueu6s4czu