ASCT2-mediated glutamine uptake promotes Th1 differentiation via ROS-EGR1-PAC1 pathway in oral lichen planus

  • Impact factors: 5.8
  • Publication: BIOCHEMICAL PHARMACOLOGY
  • Author:Wei Li, Zihang Ling, Jinmei Wang, Zhangci Su, Jingyi Lu, Xi Yang, Bin Cheng, Xiaoan Tao
  • DOI citation-doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2023.115767
  • Date:2023-08-25

Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a T cell-mediated autoimmune disease of oral mucosa concerning with the redox imbalance. Although glutamine uptake mediated by alanine-serine-cysteine transporter 2 (ASCT2) is critical to T cell differentiation, the exact mechanism remains ambiguous. Here, we elucidate a novel regulatory mechanism of ASCT2-mediated uptake in the differentiation and proliferation of T cells through maintaining redox balance in OLP. The results of immunohistochemistry (IHC) showed that both ASCT2 and glutaminase (GLS) were obviously upregulated compared to controls in OLP. Moreover, correlation analyses indicated that ASCT2 expression was significantly related to GLS level. Interestingly, the upregulation of glutamine metabolism in epithelial layer was consistent with that in lamina propria. Functional assays in vitro revealed the positive association between glutamine metabolism and lymphocytes infiltration . Additionally, multiplex immunohistochemistry (mIHC) uncovered a stronger colocalization among ASCT2 and CD4 and IFN-γ, which was further demonstrated by human Th1 differentiation assay in vitro . Mechanistically, targeting glutamine uptake through interference with ASCT2 using L-γ-Glutamyl-p-nitroanilide (GPNA) decreased the glutamine uptake of T cells and leaded to the accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), which promoted dual specificity phosphatase 2 (DUSP2/PAC1) expression through activation of early growth response 1 (EGR1) to induce dephosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and inhibit Th1 differentiation in turn. These results demonstrated that glutamine uptake mediated by ASCT2 induced Th1 differentiation by ROS-EGR1-PAC1 pathway, and restoring the redox dynamic balance through targeting ASCT2 may be a potential treatment for T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.

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