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Eur J Immunol. 2014 Aug;44(8):2331-9. doi: 10.1002/eji.201344179. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

Integrin receptors on tumor cells facilitate NK cell-mediated antibody-dependent cytotoxicity.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


NK cells that mediate ADCC play an important role in tumor-specific immunity. We have examined factors limiting specific lysis of tumor cells by CD16.NK-92 cells induced by CNTO 95LF antibodies recognizing αV integrins that are overexpressed on many tumor cells. Although all tested tumor cells were killed by CD16.NK-92 effectors in the presence of the antibodies, the killing of target cells with a low level of ICAM-1 expression revealed a dramatic decrease in their specific lysis at high antibody concentration, revealing a dose limiting effect. A similar effect was also observed with primary human NK cells. The effect was erased after IFN-γ treatment of tumor cells resulting in upregulation of ICAM-1. Furthermore, killing of the same tumor cells induced by Herceptin antibody was significantly impaired in the presence of CNTO 95Ala-Ala antibody variant that blocks αV integrins but is incapable of binding to CD16. These data suggest that αV integrins on tumor cells could compensate for the loss of ICAM-1 molecules, thereby facilitating ADCC by NK cells. Thus, NK cells could exercise cytolytic activity against ICAM-1 deficient tumor cells in the absence of proinflammatory cytokines, emphasizing the importance of NK cells in tumor-specific immunity at early stages of cancer.


ADCC; Adhesion receptors; NK cells; Tumor cells

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