Pharmacological Activation of Pyruvate Kinase M2 Inhibits CD4+ T Cell Pathogenicity and Suppresses Autoimmunity
CD4+ T cells represent an immune cell population essential to remove pathogens from the organism and for long-term immunity, for example, after vaccination. However, over-activation of CD4+ T cells may be harmful for the body, causing development of immune-related pathologies such as autoimmune and allergic diseases. The protein pyruvate kinase (PK) is important for the function of certain types of immune cells, but its role in T cells is currently unknown. Researchers at the Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, show that targeting PK activity, in particular of its isoform PKM2, limits excessive activation of CD4+ T cells and prevents the development of autoimmunity. The authors thus identify PKM2 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases caused by T cell over-activation.