SLC38A2 and glutamine signalling in cDC1s dictate anti-tumour immunity

Chuansheng Guo, Zhiyuan You, Hao Shi, Yu Sun, Xingrong Du, Gustavo Palacios, Cliff Guy, Sujing Yuan, Nicole M. Chapman, Seon Ah Lim, Xiang Sun, Jordy Saravia, Sherri Rankin, Yogesh Dhungana, Hongbo Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Cancer cells evade T cell-mediated killing through tumour–immune interactions whose mechanisms are not well understood1,2. Dendritic cells (DCs), especially type-1 conventional DCs (cDC1s), mediate T cell priming and therapeutic efficacy against tumours3. DC functions are orchestrated by pattern recognition receptors3–5, although other signals involved remain incompletely defined. Nutrients are emerging mediators of adaptive immunity6–8, but whether nutrients affect DC function or communication between innate and adaptive immune cells is largely unresolved. Here we establish glutamine as an intercellular metabolic checkpoint that dictates tumour–cDC1 crosstalk and licenses cDC1 function in activating cytotoxic T cells. Intratumoral glutamine supplementation inhibits tumour growth by augmenting cDC1-mediated CD8+ T cell immunity, and overcomes therapeutic resistance to checkpoint blockade and T cell-mediated immunotherapies. Mechanistically, tumour cells and cDC1s compete for glutamine uptake via the transporter SLC38A2 to tune anti-tumour immunity. Nutrient screening and integrative analyses show that glutamine is the dominant amino acid in promoting cDC1 function. Further, glutamine signalling via FLCN impinges on TFEB function. Loss of FLCN in DCs selectively impairs cDC1 function in vivo in a TFEB-dependent manner and phenocopies SLC38A2 deficiency by eliminating the anti-tumour therapeutic effect of glutamine supplementation. Our findings establish glutamine-mediated intercellular metabolic crosstalk between tumour cells and cDC1s that underpins tumour immune evasion, and reveal glutamine acquisition and signalling in cDC1s as limiting events for DC activation and putative targets for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-208
Number of pages9
Issue number7972
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


Dive into the research topics of 'SLC38A2 and glutamine signalling in cDC1s dictate anti-tumour immunity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this