Taking the STING out of acute myeloid leukemia through macrophage-mediated phagocytosis

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Macrophages within the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment take on unexpected roles in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) as reported by Moore and colleagues in this issue of the JCI. In contrast to solid tumors, where tumor-associated macrophages frequently assume an immunosuppressive phenotype that promotes tumor progression, this study revealed that BM macrophages repressed leukemia expansion in AML through a pathway called LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP). After phagocytosis of dead and dying leukemic cells, including the mitochondria within the leukemic blasts, mitochondrial DNA activated stimulator of IFN genes (STING), leading to inflammatory signals that enhanced phagocytosis and restrained leukemic cell expansion. These findings unveil the modulation of macrophagemediated phagocytosis via LAP as a potential therapeutic strategy directed at the BM microenvironment in AML.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere157434
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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