Cross-talk between TNF-α and IFN-γ signaling in induction of B7-H1 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma cells
Clinical benefit from immunotherapy of B7-H1/PD-1 checkpoint blockade indicates that it is important to understand the regulatory mechanism of B7-H1 expression in cancer cells. As an adaptive response to the endogenous antitumor immunity, B7-H1 expression is up-regulated in HCC cells. B7-H1 expression is induced mainly by IFN-γ released from tumor-infiltrating T cells in HCC. In addition, HCC is a prototype of inflammation-related cancer and TNF-α is a critical component of inflammatory microenvironment of HCC. In the present study, we asked whether TNF-α can promote the expression of B7-H1 induced by IFN-γ in HCC cells. We found that JAK/STAT1/IRF1 was the primary pathway responsible for induction of B7-H1 expression by IFN-γ in human HCC cell lines. TNF-α and IFN-γ synergistically induced the expression of B7-H1 in the HCC cells. Moreover, the mechanism of the synergy was that TNF-α enhanced IFN-γ signaling by upregulating the expression of IFN-γ receptors. Furthermore, B7-H1 expression induced synergistically by TNF-α and IFN-γ in murine HCC cells facilitated tumor growth in vivo. Our findings suggest that TNF-α may enhance the adaptive immune resistance mediated by IFN-γ-induced B7-H1 in HCC cells.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00262-017-2086-8
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