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Cancer Immunol Res. 2018 Aug;6(8):921-929. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-17-0316. Epub 2018 Jun 5.

PD-L1 Binds to B7-1 Only In Cis on the Same Cell Surface.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
2
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Gordon_Freeman@dfci.harvard.edu.
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Contributed equally

Abstract

Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)-mediated immunosuppression regulates peripheral tolerance and is often co-opted by tumors to evade immune attack. PD-L1 binds to PD-1 but also binds to B7-1 (CD80) to regulate T-cell function. The binding interaction of PD-L1 with B7-1 and its functional role need further investigation to understand differences between PD-1 and PD-L1 tumor immunotherapy. We examined the molecular orientation of PD-L1 binding to B7-1 using cell-to-cell binding assays, ELISA, and flow cytometry. As expected, PD-L1-transfected cells bound to PD-1-transfected cells, and B7-1 cells bound to CD28 or CTLA-4-transfected cells; however, PD-L1 cells did not bind to B7-1 cells. By ELISA and flow cytometry with purified proteins, we found PD-L1 and B7-1 had a strong binding interaction only when PD-L1 was flexible. Soluble PD-1 and B7-1 competed for binding to PD-L1. Binding of native PD-L1 and B7-1 in cis on the same cell surface was demonstrated with NanoBiT proximity assays. Thus, PD-L1-B7-1 interaction can occur in cis on the same cell but not in trans between two cells, which suggests a model in which PD-L1 can bend via its 11-amino acid, flexible stalk to bind to B7-1 in cis, in a manner that can competitively block the binding of PD-L1 to PD-1 or of B7-1 to CD28. This binding orientation emphasizes the functional importance of coexpression of PD-L1 and B7-1 on the same cell. We found such coexpression on tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells. Our findings may help better utilize these pathways in cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Immunol Res; 6(8); 921-9. ©2018 AACR.

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