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Oncoimmunology. 2016 Jun 29;5(7):e1195535. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2016.1195535. eCollection 2016 Jul.

The immune receptor Tim-3 acts as a trafficker in a Tim-3/galectin-9 autocrine loop in human myeloid leukemia cells.

Author information

1
School of Pharmacy, University of Kent , Canterbury, United Kingdom.
2
Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Universita' della Svizzera italiana (USI) , Bellinzona, Switzerland.
3
Department of Pediatric Surgery and Department of Clinical Research, Children's Hospital, Inselspital, University of Bern , Bern, Switzerland.
4
Department of Pediatric Surgery and Department of Clinical Research, Children's Hospital, Inselspital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel and University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

The immune receptor Tim-3 is often highly expressed in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells where it acts as a growth factor and inflammatory receptor. Recently, it has been demonstrated that Tim-3 forms an autocrine loop with its natural ligand galectin-9 in human AML cells. However, the pathophysiological functions of Tim-3 in human AML cells remain unclear. Here, we report for the first time that Tim-3 is required for galectin-9 secretion in human AML cells. However, this effect is cell-type specific and was found so far to be applicable only to myeloid (and not, for example, lymphoid) leukemia cells. We concluded that AML cells might use Tim-3 as a trafficker for the secretion of galectin-9 which can then be possibly used to impair the anticancer activities of cytotoxic T cells and natural killer (NK) cells.

KEYWORDS:

Acute myeloid leukemia; Tim-3; galectin-9

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