Journal Article
. 2018 Jan; 7(2):e1387705.
doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2017.1387705.

Potential effect of tumor-specific Treg-targeted antibodies in the treatment of human cancers: A bioinformatics analysis

Luigi Cari 1 Giuseppe Nocentini 1 Graziella Migliorati 1 Carlo Riccardi 1 
  • PMID: 29308313
  •     77 References
  •     14 citations


One of the mechanisms of tumor rejection in immune-modulatory treatments is antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) of regulatory T cells (Tregs) that infiltrate tumors in which cells expressing activating Fcγ receptors (FcγRs) are present. Our objective was to identify, through a bioinformatics analysis, Treg marker(s) expressed at the highest levels in nine types of human cancers, in order to determine the best targets for ADCC-inducing antitumor antibodies. We analyzed the mRNA levels of 24 surface Treg markers evaluated by the Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array in 5728 cancer samples obtained via the Genevestigator v3 suite. Our analysis was based on overexpression of markers in tumors as compared to healthy tissues (HTs) and correlation between overexpression of the markers and the tumor suppressive microenvironment. Moreover, we evaluated tumoral infiltration of activating FcγR-expressing cells and calculated the ADCC index for each overexpressed marker, as an indicator of whether the marker was a good target for ADCC induction in tumor-infiltrating Tregs. The results demonstrated that the ADCC strategy is unlikely to succeed in colorectal, liver, prostate and ovarian cancers. Moreover, we identified nine Treg markers that could be targeted in the other tumors: 4-1BB, CD39, galectin-9, GITR, IL-21R, LAP, neuropilin-1, TIGIT and TNFR2. GITR and TIGIT were the only markers that could be potentially useful as targets for the treatment of three cancers: non-squamous and squamous NSCLC and breast infiltrating ductal carcinoma. LAP, neuropilin-1 and CD39 presented as good targets in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma. Our findings may have value for the development of new anti-tumor antibodies.

Keywords: CD39; GITR; LAP; TIGIT; Treg marker; activating Fcγ receptors; antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity; bioinformatics; human cancer; neuropilin-1.

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