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Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) is important in maintaining self-tolerance and inhibits T cell reactivity. We show that CD8+ T cells that lack the tyrosine phosphatase Ptpn22, a major predisposing gene for autoimmune disease, are resistant to the suppressive effects of TGFβ. Resistance to TGFβ suppression, while disadvantageous in autoimmunity, helps Ptpn22−/− T cells to be intrinsically superior at clearing established tumors that secrete TGFβ. Mechanistically, loss of Ptpn22 increases the capacity of T cells to produce IL-2, which overcomes TGFβ-mediated suppression. These data suggest that a viable strategy to improve anti-tumor adoptive cell therapy may be to engineer tumor-restricted T cells with mutations identified as risk factors for autoimmunity.
- cancer immunotherapy
- cancer microenvironment
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