Myeloid loss of Beclin 1 promotes PD-L1hi precursor B cell lymphoma development. Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

published proceedings

  • J Clin Invest

altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Tan, P., He, L., Xing, C., Mao, J., Yu, X., Zhu, M., ... Wang, R.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

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

publication date

  • December 2019