Elevated TGF-β1 Secretion and Down-Modulation of NKG2D Underlies Impaired NK Cytotoxicity in Cancer Patients : Elevated TGF-beta 1 secretion and down-modulation of NKG2D underlies impaired NK cytotoxicity in cancer patients

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Lee, June-Chul; Lee, Kyung-Mi; Kim, Dong-Wan; Heo, Dae Seog

Issue Date
American Association of Immunologists
Journal of Immunology, Vol.172 No.12, pp.7335-7340
NK cell function in cancer patients is severely impaired, but the mechanism underlying this impairment is not clearly understood. In this study we show evidence that TGF-beta1 secreted by tumors is responsible for the poor NK lytic activity via down-regulating an NK-activating receptor, NKG2D. The plasma level of TGF-beta1 in human lung cancer or colorectal cancer patients was elevated compared with that in normal volunteers, and this elevation was inversely correlated with surface expression of NKG2D on NK cells in these patients. Incubation of NK cells with plasma obtained from cancer patients specifically down-modulated surface NKG2D expression, whereas addition of neutralizing anti-TGF-beta1 mAbs completely restored surface NKG2D expression. Likewise, incubation of NK cells and lymphokine-activated killer cells with TGF-beta1 resulted in dramatic reduction of surface NKG2D expression associated with impaired NK cytotoxicity. Modulation of NKG2D by TGF-beta1 was specific, as expression of other NK receptors, CD94/NKG2A, CD44, CD16, 2B4, or CD56, was not affected by TGF-beta1. Impaired NK cytotoxicity by TGF-beta1 was not due to alteration of lytic moieties, such as perforin or Fas, or apoptotic pathway, but, rather, appeared to be due to lack of NKG2D expression. Taken together, our data suggest that impaired NK function in cancer patients can be attributed to down-modulation of activating receptors, such as NKG2D, via secretion of TGF-beta1.
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Dept. of Medicine (의학과)Journal Papers (저널논문_의학과)
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