First published September 10, 2019 - More info
Beclin 1 (Becn1) is a key molecule of the autophagy pathway and has been implicated in cancer development. Due to the embryonic lethality of Becn1 homozygous deficient mice, the precise mechanisms and cell-type-specific role of Becn1 in the regulation of inflammation and tumor immunity remain elusive. Here, we report that myeloid-deficient Becn1 (Becn1ΔM) mice develop neutrophilia and hypersusceptible to LPS-induced septic shock, with a high risk of developing spontaneous precursor (pre)-B cell lymphoma with elevated expressions of immunosuppressive molecules PD-L1 and IL-10. Becn1 deficiency results in stabilization of neutrophil MEKK3, aberrant p38 activation, and neutrophil-B cell interaction through Cxcl9/Cxcr3 chemotaxis. Neutrophil-B cell interplay leads to activations of IL-21/STAT3/IRF1 and CD40L/ERK signaling, together regulates the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, and suppresses CD8+ T cell function. Ablation of p38 in Becn1ΔM mice prevents neutrophil-inflammation and B cell tumorigenesis. Importantly, low Becn1 expression in human neutrophils correlates with PD-L1 levels in pre-B ALL patients. Our findings have identified myeloid Becn1 as a therapeutic target of cancer immunity and immunotherapy for pre-B lymphomas.