The PD-1/PD-L1 pathway works to prevent immune attacks against our own healthy cells, but it can also be exploited by tumors: when cancer cells express the PD-L1 protein, it can protect them from immune responses by de-activating anti-cancer T cells. In spite of the key role of PD-L1 in cancer immunity, our understanding of how cancer cells regulate PD-L1 on their surface is limited. Using a genome-wide screen, Dr. Sun and colleagues identified CMTM6 as an important regulator and an unexpected molecular partner of PD-L1. Now, he’s characterizing the function and structure of the CMTM6 and PD-L1 complex to define how they interact and identify other potential components. He also plans to target CMTM6 to further define its roles in immune response as well as gauge its therapeutic value.
Projects and Grants
Unraveling the biology of CMTM6, a novel regulator of PD-L1 identified through genome-wide genetic screening
The Netherlands Cancer Institute | All Cancers | 2017 | Ton N. Schumacher, Ph.D.
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