PD-L1, a key inhibitory immune receptor, has crucial functions in cancer immune evasion, but whether PD-L1 promotes the malignant properties of cervical cancer (CC) cells and the mechanism by which PD-L1 is regulated in CC remains unclear. We report that PD-L1 is overexpressed in CC, and shRNA-mediated PD-L1 depletion suppresses the proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis of CC cells. Loss of miR-140/142/340/383 contributes to PD-L1 upregulation. miR-18a enhances PD-L1 levels by targeting PTEN, WNK2 (ERK1/2 pathway inhibitor), and SOX6 (Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibitor and p53 pathway activator) to activate the PI3K/AKT, MEK/ERK, and Wnt/β-catenin pathways and inhibit the p53 pathway, and miR-18a also directly suppresses the expression of the tumor suppressors BTG3 and RBSP3 (CTDSPL). miR-18a overexpression in CC cells is triggered by OCT4 overexpression. Our data implicate PD-L1 as a novel oncoprotein and indicate that miR-140/142/340/383 and miR-18a are key upstream regulators of PD-L1 and potential targets for CC treatment.
This research was supported by a grant from the Department of Women’s Health Educational System, JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (15K10697 and 16K11123) and the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province, China (2014A020212124). We thank Dr. Zhujie Xu for experimental assistance.
- B7-H1 Antigen/*biosynthesis/genetics
- Cell Movement/physiology
- Cell Proliferation/physiology
- Cell Transformation, Neoplastic/genetics/metabolism/pathology
- Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic/*genetics
- Mice, Inbred BALB C
- Mice, Nude
- Octamer Transcription Factor-3/genetics/metabolism
- Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/*genetics/metabolism/pathology