Author(s): Prosser ME, Brown CE, Shami AF, Forman SJ, Jensen MC
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Abstract Tumors exploit immunoregulatory checkpoints that serve to attenuate T cell responses as a means of circumventing immunologic rejection. Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a negative regulator of T cell function and is frequently expressed by solid tumors. By engaging programmed death 1 (PD-1) on activated T cells, PD-L1(+) tumors directly render tumor-specific T cells, including adoptively transferred T cells, functionally exhausted. As a strategy to overcome tumor PD-L1 effects on adoptively transferred T cells, we sought to convert PD-1 to a T cell costimulatory receptor by exchanging its transmembrane and cytoplasmic tail with that of CD28. Rather than becoming exhausted upon engagement of PD-L1(+) tumors, we hypothesized that CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) genetically modified to express this PD1:CD28 chimera would exhibit enhanced functional attributes. Here we show that cell surface expressed PD1:CD28 retains the capacity to bind PD-L1 resulting in T cell costimulation as evidenced by increased levels of ERK phosphorylation, augmentation of cytokine secretion, increased proliferative capacity, and enhanced expression of effector molecule Granzyme B. We provide evidence that this chimera could serve as a novel engineering strategy to overcome PD-L1 mediated immunosuppression. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
This article was published in Mol Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology