Research ArticleImmunometabolism

TGF-β inhibits the activation and functions of NK cells by repressing the mTOR pathway

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Signaling  16 Feb 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 415, pp. ra19
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad1884

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Relieving NK cell suppression

The immunosuppressive cytokine transforming growth factor–β (TGF-β) has beneficial effects when it resolves inflammation and prevents autoimmunity, but not when it inhibits antitumor immune responses. Viel et al. found that TGF-β signaling in mouse and human natural killer (NK) cells, cytotoxic cells that target tumor cells, inhibited the activation of the kinase mTOR, a central regulator of cellular metabolism and cytotoxic function. NK cells deficient in a TGF-β receptor subunit showed enhanced antitumor activity in mouse models of metastasis, suggesting that enhancing metabolism in NK cells may provide a therapeutic strategy to kill cancer cells.

View Full Text