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Perspectives on Immune Checkpoint Ligands: Expression, Regulation, and Clinical Implications
Jihyun Moon 1,2 (Graduate student), Yoo Min Oh 1,2 (Graduate student), Sang-Jun Ha 1,2,* (Professor)
1Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science & Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea,
2Brain Korea 21 (BK21) FOUR Program, Yonsei Education & Research Center for Biosystems, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea
In the tumor microenvironment, immune checkpoint ligands (ICLs) must be expressed in order to trigger the inhibitory signal via immune checkpoint receptors (ICRs). Although ICL expression frequently occurs in a manner intrinsic to tumor cells, extrinsic factors derived from the tumor microenvironment can fine-tune ICL expression by tumor cells or prompt non-tumor cells, including immune cells. Considering the extensive interaction between T cells and other immune cells within the tumor microenvironment, ICL expression on immune cells can be as significant as that of ICLs on tumor cells in promoting anti-tumor immune responses. Here, we introduce various regulators known to induce or suppress ICL expression in either tumor cells or immune cells, and concise mechanisms relevant to their induction. Finally, we focus on the clinical significance of understanding the mechanisms of ICLs for an optimized immunotherapy for individual cancer patients.
Abstract, Accepted Manuscript [Submitted on April 13, 2021, Accepted on May 14, 2021]
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