Myeloid loss of Beclin 1 promotes PD-L1hi precursor B cell lymphoma development

Peng Tan, Lian He, Changsheng Xing, Jingrong Mao, Xiao Yu, Motao Zhu, Lixia Diao, Leng Han, Yubin Zhou, James M. You, Helen Y. Wang, Rong Fu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Beclin 1 (Becn1) is a key molecule in the autophagy pathway and has been implicated in cancer development. Due to the embryonic lethality of homozygous Becn1-deficient mice, the precise mechanisms and cell type-specific roles of Becn1 in regulating inflammation and cancer immunity remain elusive. Here, we report that myeloid-deficient Becn1 (Becn1ΔM) mice developed neutrophilia, were hypersusceptible to LPS-induced septic shock, and had a high risk of developing spontaneous precursor B cell (pre-B cell) lymphoma with elevated expression of immunosuppressive molecules programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and IL-10. Becn1 deficiency resulted in the stabilization of MEKK3 and aberrant p38 activation in neutrophils, and mediated neutrophil-B cell interaction through Cxcl9/Cxcr3 chemotaxis. Neutrophil-B cell interplay further led to the activation of IL-21/STAT3/IRF1 and CD40L/ERK signaling and PD-L1 expression; therefore, it suppressed CD8+ T cell function. Ablation of p38 in Becn1ΔM mice prevented neutrophil inflammation and B cell tumorigenesis. Importantly, the low expression of Becn1 in human neutrophils was significantly correlated with the PD-L1 levels in pre-B acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (ALL) patients. Our findings have identified myeloid Becn1 as a key regulator of cancer immunity and therapeutic target for pre-B cell lymphomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5261-5277
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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