Purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) enables the breakdown and recycling of guanine nucleosides. PNP insufficiency in humans is paradoxically associated with both immunodeficiency and autoimmunity, but the mechanistic basis for these outcomes is incompletely understood. Here, we identify two immune lineage-dependent consequences of PNP inactivation dictated by distinct gene interactions. During T cell development, PNP inactivation is synthetically lethal with downregulation of the dNTP triphosphohydrolase SAMHD1. This interaction requires deoxycytidine kinase activity and is antagonized by microenvironmental deoxycytidine. In B lymphocytes and macrophages, PNP regulates Toll-like receptor 7 signaling by controlling the levels of its (deoxy)guanosine nucleoside ligands. Overriding this regulatory mechanism promotes germinal center formation in the absence of exogenous antigen and accelerates disease in a mouse model of autoimmunity. This work reveals that one purine metabolism gene protects against immunodeficiency and autoimmunity via independent mechanisms operating in distinct immune lineages and identifies PNP as a potentially novel metabolic immune checkpoint.
Evan R. Abt, Khalid Rashid, Thuc M. Le, Suwen Li, Hailey R. Lee, Vincent Lok, Luyi Li, Amanda L. Creech, Amanda N. Labora, Hanna K. Mandl, Alex K. Lam, Arthur Cho, Valerie Rezek, Nanping Wu, Gabriel Abril-Rodriguez, Ethan W. Rosser, Steven D. Mittelman, Willy Hugo, Thomas Mehrling, Shanta Bantia, Antoni Ribas, Timothy R. Donahue, Gay M. Crooks, Ting-Ting Wu, Caius G. Radu