Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are critical mediators of immune tolerance and play a diametric role in cancer and autoimmunity. Tumor-infiltrating Tregs are often associated with poor prognosis in solid tumors because their enrichment in the tumor microenvironment contributes to immunosuppression. Conversely, dysregulation in the Treg compartment can disrupt self-tolerance, leading to autoimmunity. In the present study, we describe what is, to our knowledge, a novel regulator of Tregs, the GTPase activator regulator of G protein 1 (RGS1), demonstrating that RGS1-deficient human Tregs show downregulation of Treg-associated genes and are less immunosuppressive. These RGS1-deficient Tregs exhibit perturbations to the FOXP3–c-MYC transcriptional axis and downstream metabolic and autophagy programs by shifting their energy demands toward glycolysis and rendering them less autophagic. Taken together, RGS1 may serve as an apical node of Treg function by regulating the FOXP3–c-MYC transcriptional axis, thereby providing a therapeutic rationale for targeting RGS1 for treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.

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