PPAR-delta modulates membrane cholesterol and cytokine signaling in malignant B cells
A deeper understanding of the mechanisms that underlie aberrant signal transduction in B-cell cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may reveal new treatment strategies. The lipid-activated nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta (PPARδ) accounts for a number of properties of aggressive cancers and was found to enhance Janus kinase (JAK)-mediated phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins in B lymphoma cell lines and primary CLL cells. Autocrine production of cytokines such as IL10 and interferon-beta was not increased by PPARδ but signaling responses to these cytokines were amplified and associated with increased cholesterol biosynthesis and plasma membrane levels. Plasmalemmal cholesterol and STAT phosphorylation from type 1 interferons (IFNs) were increased by PPARδ agonists, transgenes and exogenous cholesterol, and decreased by cyclodextrin, PPARD deletion and chemical PPARδ inhibitors. Functional consequences of PPARδ-mediated perturbation of IFN signaling included impaired upregulation of co-stimulatory molecules. These observations suggest PPARδ modulates signaling processes in malignant B cells in part by altering cholesterol metabolism and changes the outcomes of signaling from cytokines such as IFNs. PPARδ antagonists may have therapeutic activity as anti-leukemic signal transduction modulators.