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      The blockade of immune checkpoints in cancer immunotherapy

      Nature Reviews Cancer

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          Among the most promising approaches to activating therapeutic antitumour immunity is the blockade of immune checkpoints. Immune checkpoints refer to a plethora of inhibitory pathways hardwired into the immune system that are crucial for maintaining self-tolerance and modulating the duration and amplitude of physiological immune responses in peripheral tissues in order to minimize collateral tissue damage. It is now clear that tumours co-opt certain immune-checkpoint pathways as a major mechanism of immune resistance, particularly against T cells that are specific for tumour antigens. Because many of the immune checkpoints are initiated by ligand-receptor interactions, they can be readily blocked by antibodies or modulated by recombinant forms of ligands or receptors. Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA4) antibodies were the first of this class of immunotherapeutics to achieve US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Preliminary clinical findings with blockers of additional immune-checkpoint proteins, such as programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1), indicate broad and diverse opportunities to enhance antitumour immunity with the potential to produce durable clinical responses.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Involvement of PD-L1 on tumor cells in the escape from host immune system and tumor immunotherapy by PD-L1 blockade.

           Y Iwai,  M. Ishida,  Y. Tanaka (2002)
          PD-1 is a receptor of the Ig superfamily that negatively regulates T cell antigen receptor signaling by interacting with the specific ligands (PD-L) and is suggested to play a role in the maintenance of self-tolerance. In the present study, we examined possible roles of the PD-1/PD-L system in tumor immunity. Transgenic expression of PD-L1, one of the PD-L, in P815 tumor cells rendered them less susceptible to the specific T cell antigen receptor-mediated lysis by cytotoxic T cells in vitro, and markedly enhanced their tumorigenesis and invasiveness in vivo in the syngeneic hosts as compared with the parental tumor cells that lacked endogenous PD-L. Both effects could be reversed by anti-PD-L1 Ab. Survey of murine tumor lines revealed that all of the myeloma cell lines examined naturally expressed PD-L1. Growth of the myeloma cells in normal syngeneic mice was inhibited significantly albeit transiently by the administration of anti-PD-L1 Ab in vivo and was suppressed completely in the syngeneic PD-1-deficient mice. These results suggest that the expression of PD-L1 can serve as a potent mechanism for potentially immunogenic tumors to escape from host immune responses and that blockade of interaction between PD-1 and PD-L may provide a promising strategy for specific tumor immunotherapy.
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            Up on the tightrope: natural killer cell activation and inhibition.

            Natural killer (NK) cells circulate through the blood, lymphatics and tissues, on patrol for the presence of transformed or pathogen-infected cells. As almost all NK cell receptors bind to host-encoded ligands, signals are constantly being transmitted into NK cells, whether they interact with normal or abnormal cells. The sophisticated repertoire of activating and inhibitory receptors that has evolved to regulate NK cell activity ensures that NK cells protect hosts against pathogens, yet prevents deleterious NK cell-driven autoimmune responses. Here I highlight recent advances in our understanding of the structural properties and signaling pathways of the inhibitory and activating NK cell receptors, with a particular focus on the ITAM-dependent activating receptors, the NKG2D-DAP10 receptor complexes and the CD244 receptor system.
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              Blockade of B7-H1 improves myeloid dendritic cell-mediated antitumor immunity.

              Suppression of dendritic cell function in cancer patients is thought to contribute to the inhibition of immune responses and disease progression. Molecular mechanisms of this suppression remain elusive, however. Here, we show that a fraction of blood monocyte-derived myeloid dendritic cells (MDCs) express B7-H1, a member of the B7 family, on the cell surface. B7-H1 could be further upregulated by tumor environmental factors. Consistent with this finding, virtually all MDCs isolated from the tissues or draining lymph nodes of ovarian carcinomas express B7-H1. Blockade of B7-H1 enhanced MDC-mediated T-cell activation and was accompanied by downregulation of T-cell interleukin (IL)-10 and upregulation of IL-2 and interferon (IFN)-gamma. T cells conditioned with the B7-H1-blocked MDCs had a more potent ability to inhibit autologous human ovarian carcinoma growth in non-obese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficient (NOD-SCID) mice. Therefore, upregulation of B7-H1 on MDCs in the tumor microenvironment downregulates T-cell immunity. Blockade of B7-H1 represents one approach for cancer immunotherapy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Cancer
                Nat Rev Cancer
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1474-175X
                1474-1768
                April 2012
                March 22 2012
                April 2012
                : 12
                : 4
                : 252-264
                Article
                10.1038/nrc3239
                22437870
                © 2012

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