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Membrane protein GARP is a receptor for latent TGF-beta on the surface of activated human Treg.

Stockis J., Colau D., Coulie P.G., Lucas S.

Human Treg and Th clones secrete the latent form of TGF-beta, in which the mature TGF-beta protein is bound to the latency-associated peptide (LAP), and is thereby prevented from binding to the TGF-beta receptor. We previously showed that upon TCR stimulation, human Treg clones but not Th clones produce active TGF-beta and bear LAP on their surface. Here, we show that latent TGF-beta, i.e. both LAP and mature TGF-beta, binds to glycoprotein A repetitions predominant (GARP), a transmembrane protein containing leucine rich repeats, which is present on the surface of stimulated Treg clones but not on Th clones. Membrane localization of latent TGF-beta mediated by binding to GARP may be necessary for the ability of Treg to activate TGF-beta upon TCR stimulation. However, it is not sufficient as lentiviral-mediated expression of GARP in human Th cells induces binding of latent TGF-beta to the cell surface, but does not result in the production of active TGF-beta upon stimulation of these Th cells.

Eur. J. Immunol. 39:3315-3322(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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