E3 Ligase VHL Promotes Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cell Maturation and Function via Glycolysis Inhibition and Induction of Interleukin-33 Receptor

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SummaryGroup 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) are a specialized subset of lymphoid effector cells that are critically involved in allergic responses; however, the mechanisms of their regulation remain unclear. We report that conditional deletion of the E3 ubiquitin ligase VHL in innate lymphoid progenitors minimally affected early-stage bone marrow ILC2s but caused a selective and intrinsic decrease in mature ILC2 numbers in peripheral non-lymphoid tissues, resulting in reduced type 2 immune responses. VHL deficiency caused the accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) and attenuated interleukin-33 (IL-33) receptor ST2 expression, which was rectified by HIF1α ablation or inhibition. HIF1α-driven expression of the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase M2 downmodulated ST2 expression via epigenetic modification and inhibited IL-33-induced ILC2 development. Our study indicates that the VHL-HIF-glycolysis axis is essential for the late-stage maturation and function of ILC2s via targeting IL-33-ST2 pathway.Graphical AbstractHighlightsVHL promotes maturation of ILC2s and lung inflammationVHL intrinsically regulates ILC2 developmentThe VHL-HIF axis promotes the expression of the IL-33 receptor ST2The PKM2-pyruvate checkpoint inhibits epigenetic modification of the ST2 geneILC2s are critically involved in allergic responses, but the mechanisms by which they are regulated remain unclear. Li et al. demonstrate that the VHL-HIF axis is essential for ILC2 maturation and function via inhibition of glycolysis and induction of IL-33 receptor expression. These findings have implications for identifying therapeutic targets for allergic diseases.

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