Regulatory mechanisms of PD-L1 expression and its role in immune evasion

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Immune checkpoint blockade therapy using anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 antibodies can unleash anti-tumor immunity and induce durable remission in a variety of human cancers. However, the regulatory mechanisms of PD-L1 expression mediating immune evasion of cancer cells have not been fully elucidated, including the genetic alterations causing PD-L1 overexpression. Recently, we have reported a novel genetic mechanism of immune evasion associated with structural variations (SVs) disrupting the 3' -untranslated region (UTR) of the PD-L1 gene in various malignancies, such as aggressive lymphomas and gastrointestinal cancers. Despite a heterogenous nature of these SVs, they are closely associated with a marked upregulation of PD-L1 expression, which augments tumor growth and escape from anti-tumor immunity. Here we present an overview of the regulatory mechanisms of PD-L1 expression in cancer cells, highlighting the genetic mechanisms of PD-L1 constitutive activation, with specific focus on PD-L1 3' -UTR disruption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-971
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer and Chemotherapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • 3' -untranslated region
  • Immune evasion
  • PD-L1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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