Publication of IMPRS-LS student Leonie Zeitler

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Zeitler, L., Fiore, A., Meyer, C., Russier, M., Zanella, G., Suppmann, S., Gagaro, M., Sidhu, S.S., Seshagiri, S., Ohnmacht, C., Köcher, T., Fallarino, F., Linkermann, A., and Murray, P.J.
Elife, 2021, 10, online ahead of print.
doi: 10.7554/eLife.64806

Anti-ferroptotic mechanism of IL4i1-mediated amino acid metabolism

Interleukin-4-induced-1 (IL4i1) is an amino acid oxidase secreted from immune cells. Recent observations have suggested that IL4i1 is pro-tumorigenic via unknown mechanisms. As IL4i1 has homologues in snake venoms (LAAO, L-amino acid oxidases), we used comparative approaches to gain insight into the mechanistic basis of how conserved amino acid oxidases regulate cell fate and function. Using mammalian expressed recombinant proteins, we found venom LAAO kills cells via hydrogen peroxide generation. By contrast, mammalian IL4i1 is non-cytotoxic and instead elicits a cell productive gene expression program inhibiting ferroptotic redox death by generating indole-3-pyruvate (I3P) from tryptophan. I3P suppresses ferroptosis by direct free radical scavenging and through the activation of an anti-oxidative gene expression program. Thus, the pro-tumor effects of IL4i1 are likely mediated by local anti-ferroptotic pathways via aromatic amino acid metabolism, arguing that an IL4i1 inhibitor may modulate tumor cell death pathways.