Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy
c-Myc-driven glycolysis polarizes functional regulatory B cells that trigger pathogenic inflammatory responses
Xu-Yan Wang, Yuan Wei, Bo Hu, Yuan Liao, Xiaodong Wang, Wen-Hua Wan, Chun-Xiang Huang, Mahepali Mahabati, Zheng-Yu Liu, Jing-Rui Qu, Xiao-Dan Chen, Dong-Ping Chen, Dong-Ming Kuang, Xue-Hao Wang & Yun Chen
B cells secreting IL-10 functionally are recognized as functional regulatory B (Breg) cells; however, direct evidence concerning the phenotype, regulation, and functional and clinical relevance of IL-10-secreting Breg cells in humans is still lacking. Here, we demonstrate that, although IL-10 itself is anti-inflammatory, IL-10+ functional Breg cells in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) display aggressive inflammatory features; these features shift their functions away from inducing CD8+ T cell tolerance and cause them to induce a pathogenic CD4+ T cell response. Functional Breg cells polarized by environmental factors (e.g., CPG-DNA) or directly isolated from patients with SLE mainly exhibit a CD24intCD27−CD38−CD69+/hi phenotype that is different from that of their precursors. Mechanistically, MAPK/ERK/P38-elicited sequential oncogenic c-Myc upregulation and enhanced glycolysis are necessary for the generation and functional maintenance of functional Breg cells. Consistently, strategies that abrogate the activity of ERK, P38, c-Myc, and/or cell glycolysis can efficiently eliminate the pathogenic effects triggered by functional Breg cells.