Regulatory T (T reg) cells are required for the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Both TGF-β signaling and epigenetic modifications are important for Foxp3 induction, but how TGF-β signaling participates in the epigenetic regulation of Foxp3 remains largely unknown. Here we showed that T cell–specific ablation of Uhrf1 resulted in T reg–biased differentiation in TCR-stimulated naive T cells in the absence of TGF-β signaling, and these Foxp3+ T cells had a suppressive function. Adoptive transfer of Uhrf1−/− naive T cells could significantly suppress colitis due to increased iT reg cell generation. Mechanistically, Uhrf1 was induced upon TCR stimulation and participated in the maintenance of DNA methylation patterns of T reg cell–specific genes during cell division, while it was phosphorylated upon TGF-β stimulation and sequestered outside the nucleus, and ultimately underwent proteasome-dependent degradation. Collectively, our study reveals a novel epigenetic mechanism of TGF-β–mediated iT reg cell differentiation by modulating Uhrf1 activity and suggests that Uhrf1 may be a potential therapeutic target in inflammatory diseases for generating stable iT reg cells.

This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at
You do not currently have access to this content.