We report that the tumor suppressor Tsc1 established a quiescence program in naive T cells by controlling cell size, cell cycle entry and responses to stimulation of the T cell antigen receptor.
Abrogation of quiescence predisposed Tsc1-deficient T cells to apoptosis that resulted in loss of conventional T cells and invariant natural killer T cells.
Loss of Tsc1 function dampened in vivo immune responses to bacterial infection. Tsc1-deficient T cells had more activity of the serine-threonine kinase complex mTORC1 but less mTORC2 activity, and activation of mTORC1 was essential for the disruption of immune homeostasis. Therefore, Tsc1-dependent control of mTOR is crucial in actively maintaining the quiescence of naive T cells to facilitate adaptive immune function.