D-2-hydroxyglutarate supports a tolerogenic phenotype with lowered major histocompatibility class II expression in non-malignant dendritic cells and acute myeloid leukemia cells

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Abstract

D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2-HG) accumulates in primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with mutated isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) and other malignancies. D-2-HG suppresses antitumor T cell immunity but little is known about potential effects on non-malignant myeloid cells. Here we show that D-2-HG impairs human but not murine dendritic cell (DC) differentiation, resulting in a tolerogenic phenotype with low major histocompatibility (MHC) class II expression. In line, IDH-mutated AML blasts exhibited lower expression of HLA-DP and were less susceptible to lysis by HLA-DP-specific T cells. Interestingly, D-2-HG reprogrammed metabolism towards increased lactate production in DCs and AML besides its expected impact on DNA demethylation. Vitamin C accelerated DNA demethylation, but only the combination of vitamin C and glycolytic inhibition lowered lactate levels and supported MHC class II expression. Our results indicate an unexpected link between the immunosuppressive metabolites 2-HG and lactic acid and suggest a potentially novel therapeutic strategy with combinations of anti-glycolytic drugs and epigenetic modulators (hypomethylating agents) or other therapeutics for the treatment of AML.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHaematologica
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Jan 2024

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