PD-1 instructs a tumor-suppressive metabolic program that restricts glycolysis and restrains AP-1 activity in T cell lymphoma.

Wartewig, T., Daniels, J., Schulz, M., Hameister, E., Joshi, A., Park, J., Morrish, E., Venkatasubramani, A.V., Cernilogar, F.M., van Heijster, F.H.A., Hundshammer, C., Schneider, H., Konstantinidis, F., Gabler, J.V., Klement, C., Kurniawan, H., Law, C., Lee, Y., Choi, S., Guitart, J., Forne, I., Giustinani, J., Muschen, M., Jain, S., Weinstock, D.M., Rad, R., Ortonne, N., Schilling, F., Schotta, G., Imhof, A., Brenner, D., Choi, J., Ruland, J. (2023). Nat Cancer 4, 1508-1525.



The PDCD1-encoded immune checkpoint receptor PD-1 is a key tumor suppressor in T cells that is recurrently inactivated in T cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (T-NHLs). The highest frequencies of PDCD1 deletions are detected in advanced disease, predicting inferior prognosis. However, the tumor-suppressive mechanisms of PD-1 signaling remain unknown. Here, using tractable mouse models for T-NHL and primary patient samples, we demonstrate that PD-1 signaling suppresses T cell malignancy by restricting glycolytic energy and acetyl coenzyme A (CoA) production. In addition, PD-1 inactivation enforces ATP citrate lyase (ACLY) activity, which generates extramitochondrial acetyl-CoA for histone acetylation to enable hyperactivity of activating protein 1 (AP-1) transcription factors. Conversely, pharmacological ACLY inhibition impedes aberrant AP-1 signaling in PD-1-deficient T-NHLs and is toxic to these cancers. Our data uncover genotype-specific vulnerabilities in PDCD1-mutated T-NHL and identify PD-1 as regulator of AP-1 activity.