Regulatory T cells (Tregs) suppress the activation and subsequent effector functions of CD4 effector T cells (Teffs). However, molecular mechanisms that enforce Treg-mediated suppression in CD4 Teff are unclear. We found that Tregs suppressed activation-induced global protein synthesis in CD4 Teffs prior to cell division. We analyzed genome-wide changes in the transcriptome and translatome of activated CD4 Teffs. We show that mRNAs encoding for the protein synthesis machinery are regulated at the level of translation in activated CD4 Teffs by Tregs. Tregs suppressed global protein synthesis of CD4 Teffs by specifically inhibiting mRNAs of the translation machinery at the level of mTORC1-mediated translation control through concerted action of immunosuppressive cytokines IL-10 and TGFβ. Lastly, we found that the therapeutic targeting of protein synthesis with the RNA helicase eIF4A inhibitor rocaglamide A can alleviate inflammatory CD4 Teff activation caused by acute Treg depletion in vivo. These data show that peripheral tolerance is enforced by Tregs through mRNA translational control in CD4 Teffs.

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