Liver X Receptors: Regulators of Cholesterol Metabolism, Inflammation, Autoimmunity, and Cancer

Maria Teresa Bilotta, Sara Petillo, Angela Santoni, Marco Cippitelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The interplay between cellular stress and immune response can be variable and sometimes contradictory. The mechanisms by which stress-activated pathways regulate the inflammatory response to a pathogen, in autoimmunity or during cancer progression remain unclear in many aspects, despite our recent knowledge of the signalling and transcriptional pathways involved in these diseases. In this context, over the last decade many studies demonstrated that cholesterol metabolism is an important checkpoint for immune homeostasis and cancer progression. Indeed, cholesterol is actively metabolized and can regulate, through its mobilization and/or production of active derivatives, many aspects of immunity and inflammation. Moreover, accumulation of cholesterol has been described in cancer cells, indicating metabolic addiction. The nuclear receptors liver-X-receptors (LXRs) are important regulators of intracellular cholesterol and lipids homeostasis. They have also key regulatory roles in immune response, as they can regulate inflammation, innate and adaptive immunity. Moreover, activation of LXRs has been reported to affect the proliferation and survival of different cancer cell types that show altered metabolic pathways and accumulation of cholesterol. In this minireview we will give an overview of the recent understandings about the mechanisms through which LXRs regulate inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer, and the therapeutic potential for future treatment of these diseases through modulation of cholesterol metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584303
JournalFront. Immunol.
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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