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Nature. 2017 Sep 7;549(7670):106-110. doi: 10.1038/nature23669. Epub 2017 Aug 16.

Identification of CMTM6 and CMTM4 as PD-L1 protein regulators.

Author information

1
Division of Molecular Oncology &Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Division of Biochemistry, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Division of Tumor Biology &Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics, Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research and Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.
5
Netherlands Proteomics Centre, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.
6
Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
7
Division of Medical Oncology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
8
Core Facility Molecular Pathology &Biobanking, Division of Pathology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
9
Division of Pathology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
10
CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, 1090 Vienna, Austria.
11
Cancergenomics.nl, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

The clinical benefit for patients with diverse types of metastatic cancers that has been observed upon blockade of the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1 has highlighted the importance of this inhibitory axis in the suppression of tumour-specific T-cell responses. Notwithstanding the key role of PD-L1 expression by cells within the tumour micro-environment, our understanding of the regulation of the PD-L1 protein is limited. Here we identify, using a haploid genetic screen, CMTM6, a type-3 transmembrane protein of previously unknown function, as a regulator of the PD-L1 protein. Interference with CMTM6 expression results in impaired PD-L1 protein expression in all human tumour cell types tested and in primary human dendritic cells. Furthermore, through both a haploid genetic modifier screen in CMTM6-deficient cells and genetic complementation experiments, we demonstrate that this function is shared by its closest family member, CMTM4, but not by any of the other CMTM members tested. Notably, CMTM6 increases the PD-L1 protein pool without affecting PD-L1 (also known as CD274) transcription levels. Rather, we demonstrate that CMTM6 is present at the cell surface, associates with the PD-L1 protein, reduces its ubiquitination and increases PD-L1 protein half-life. Consistent with its role in PD-L1 protein regulation, CMTM6 enhances the ability of PD-L1-expressing tumour cells to inhibit T cells. Collectively, our data reveal that PD-L1 relies on CMTM6/4 to efficiently carry out its inhibitory function, and suggest potential new avenues to block this pathway.

PMID:
28813410
DOI:
10.1038/nature23669
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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