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2540 Chronic Inflammation Drives p53 Mutant Clonal Hematopoiesis Via Activating the NLRP1 Inflammasome

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 503. Clonal Hematopoiesis, Aging and Inflammation: Poster II
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Fundamental Science
Sunday, December 11, 2022, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Sergio of Barajas, BS1,2, Sasidhar Vemula3*, Sisi Chen, PhD4, Hongxia Chen2*, Wenjie Cai2,3*, Shiyu Xiao2*, Stephanie Halene, MD5, Omar Abdel-Wahab, MD6, Linsey Mayo, PhD7*, Sharon A. Savage, MD8 and Yan Liu, PhD9

1Indiana University School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
2Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
3Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
4Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
5Yale Univ. School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
6Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
7Herman D Wells Center, Indianapolis, IN
8Clinical Genetics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
9Department of Medicine, Hematology Oncology Division, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Individuals with somatic TP53 mutations manifest clonal hematopoiesis and are at high risk of developing hematological malignancies. However, how environmental factors influence the expansion of p53 mutant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) is unclear. We found that pI:pC or LPS treatment promotes the clonal expansion of p53 mutant HSPCs in transplantation assays. To determine the impact of LPS on HSPC function in vivo, we treated p53+/+ and p53R248W/+ mice with LPS or PBS and then performed competitive transplantation assays. LPS-treated WT BM cells show decreased engraftment in both primary and secondary transplantation assays, whereas LPS-treated p53 mutant BM cells continued to show increased engraftment. To understand how LPS-induced chronic inflammation promotes p53 mutant HSPC expansion, we examined the impact of mutant p53 on cytokine secretion from BM derived macrophages. We found that p53 mutant macrophages show increased secretion of multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-1α, IL-12 (p70), KC, VEGF, IP-10, CXCL-9, LIX, and MCP-1.

To further investigate how chronic inflammation promotes p53 mutant HSPC expansion, we performed ATAC-seq assays in LSKs to identify differential regions of chromatin accessibility. Notably, we found that mutant p53 increases the chromatin accessibility to inflammasome genes, including Nlrp1a and Nlrp1b. Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes that activate Caspase-1 and increase the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, leading to caspase-1-dependent death, known as pyroptosis. We found that loss of NLRP1 significantly decreased the secretion of multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-1α, IL-6, MCP-1, KC, M-CSF, RANTES, LIX, GM-CSF G-CSF, TNF-α and IL-12 (p40), from macrophages expressing mutant p53. Loss of NLRP1 significantly decreases the repopulating potential of HSPCs expressing mutant p53 in vivo.

To further understand how chronic inflammation may confer a competitive advantage to p53 mutant HSPCs, we performed in vitro cell competition assays. We found that WT CD45.1+ cells co-cultured with p53 mutant cells show decreased replating potential compared to WT CD45.1+ cells co-cultured with WT CD45.2+ cells. We measured the levels of cytokines in the condition media utilizing cytokine arrays and found increased levels of IL-1β, IL-6, CXCL-9, and IL-4 in mutant cell cultures compared to that of the WT cells. We found that WT CD45.1+ cells co-cultured with mutant cells show increased pyroptosis. Importantly, we found that the enhanced pyroptosis of WT CD45.1+ cells seen in the mutant group is IL-1β dependent.

We found that IL-1β treatment decreases the replating potential of WT BM cells, but not that of p53 mutant cells. To determine the mechanism by which p53 mutant HSPCs are resistant to IL-1β treatment, we performed RNA sequencing in p53+/+ and p53R248W/+ LSKs treated with IL-1β (10 ng/ml) or PBS in vitro for 90 minutes. GSEA analysis revealed that hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell differentiation genes are significantly upregulated in p53 mutant LSKs compared to WT LSKs following IL-1β stimulation. Notably, we found that p53 mutant LSKs treated with IL-1β are enriched with MYC target genes. Furthermore, blocking of IL-1β using IL-1β neutralizing antibody decreases the fitness of p53 mutant HSPCs.

Our studies will likely establish both the NLRP1 inflammasome and the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β as novel potential therapeutic targets for preventing clonal hematopoiesis development and treating hematological malignancies with TP53 mutations.

Disclosures: Halene: Forma Therapeutics: Consultancy. Abdel-Wahab: H3B Biomedicine, LOXO Oncology, and Nurix Therapeutics: Research Funding; Envisagenics Inc., AIChemy, Harmonic Discovery Inc., and Pfizer Boulder: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; H3B Biomedicine, Foundation Medicine Inc, Merck, Prelude Therapeutics, and Janssen: Consultancy.

*signifies non-member of ASH