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Am J Transl Res. 2013 Aug 15;5(5):470-80. eCollection 2013.

The role of IL-27 in the induction of anti-tumor cytotoxic T lymphocyte response.

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Department of Pathology and Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University Columbus, OH, USA.


Cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response is a critical component of the immune response to tumors, therefore optimal induction of CTL responses to tumor antigens is highly desired for developing efficient cancer immunotherapy. IL-27 is a member of the IL-12 family of cytokines that is comprised of an IL-12 p40-related protein subunit, EBV-induced gene 3 (EBI3), and a p35-related subunit, p28. IL-27 functions through IL-27R and has been shown to have potent anti-tumor activity via activation of a variety of immune components, including anti-tumor CD8(+) T cell responses. However, the exact mechanisms of how IL-27 enhances anti-tumor CD8(+) T cell responses are not fully understood. In this paper we mainly discuss the evidences that suggest novel mechanisms by which IL-27 enhances anti-tumor CTL responses, including IL-27 inhibition of activation-induced cell death; the phenotypes of IL-27-stimulated CTLs; IL-27-induced CTL IL-10/IL-21 production and IL-27-mediated suppression of regulatory T cell responses. These evidences suggest that IL-27 may have a great potential to be utilized in boosting anti-tumor CTL responses in human cancer patients.


IL-21; IL-27; anti-tumor cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTLs); cancer; p28; p35; p53

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