The E3 ligase VHL controls alveolar macrophage function via metabolic-epigenetic regulation

Wen Zhang, Qian Li, Dulei Li, Jia Li, Daisuke Aki, Yun Cai Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Metabolic pathways such as glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation play a key role in regulating macrophage function during inflammation and tissue repair. However, how exactly the VHL-HIF-glycolysis axis is involved in the function of tissue-resident macrophages remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that loss of VHL in myeloid cells resulted in attenuated pulmonary type 2 and fibrotic responses, accompanied by reduced eosinophil infiltration, decreased IL-5 and IL-13 concentrations, and ameliorated fiber deposition upon challenge. VHL deficiency uplifted glycolytic metabolism, decreased respiratory capacity, and reduced osteopontin expression in alveolar macrophages, which impaired the function of type 2 innate lymphoid cells but was significantly reversed by HIF1α inhibition or ablation. The up-regulated glycolysis altered the epigenetic modification of osteopontin gene, with the metabolic intermediate 3-phosphoglyceric acid as a key checkpoint controller. Thus, our results indicate that VHL acts as a crucial regulatory factor in lung inflammation and fibrosis by regulating alveolar macrophages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3180-3193
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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