Turkish Journal of Biology




Background/aim: The role of PD-L1 in regulating the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment via its binding on PD-1 receptors is extensively studied. The PD-1/PD-L1 axis is a significant way of cancer immune escape, and PD-L1 expression on tumor cells is suggested as a predictive marker for anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs). However, the tumor-intrinsic role of PDL1 is not known well. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the effects of anti-PD-L1 antibodies on the expression of angiogenesis and metastasis-related genes in tumor cells. Materials and methods: The experiments were done with prostate cancer and melanoma cells with low PD-L1 expression (<5%) and prostate and breast cancer cells with high PD-L1 expression (>50%). The gene and protein expressions of VEGFA, E-cadherin, TGFß1, EGFR, and bFGF in tumor cells were assayed at the 3 different doses of the anti-PD-L1 antibody. Results: We found that VEGFA, E-cadherin and TGFß1 expressions increased in PD-L1 high cells but decreased in PD-L1 low cells after anti-PD-L1 treatment. EGFR expression levels were variable in PD-L1 high cells, while decreased in PD-L1 low cells upon treatment. Also, the anti-PD-L1 antibody was found to increase bFGF expression in the prostate cancer cell line with high PD-L1 expression. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the binding of PD-L1 on tumor cells by an anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody may affect tumorintrinsic mechanisms. The activation of angiogenesis and metastasis-related pathways by anti-PD-L1 treatment in PD-L1 high tumors might be a tumor-promoting mechanism. The decrease of VEGFA, TGFß1 and EGFR upon anti-PD-L1 treatment in PD-L1 low tumor cells provides a rationale for the use of those antibodies in PD-L1 low tumors.


Anti-PD-L1, E-cadherin, immunotherapy, metastasis, PD-L1, VEGFA

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