Inhibitory immune checkpoint (ICP) molecules are pivotal in inhibiting innate and acquired antitumor immune responses, a mechanism frequently exploited by cancer cells to evade host immunity. These evasion strategies contribute to the complexity of cancer progression and therapeutic resistance. For this reason, ICP molecules have become targets for antitumor drugs, particularly monoclonal antibodies, collectively referred to as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), that counteract such cancer-associated immune suppression and restore antitumor immune responses. Over the last decade, however, it has become clear that tumor cell-associated ICPs can also induce tumor cell-intrinsic effects, in particular epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and macroautophagy (hereafter autophagy). Both of these processes have profound implications for cancer metastasis and drug responsiveness. This article reviews the positive or negative cross-talk that tumor cell-associated ICPs undergo with autophagy and EMT. We discuss that tumor cell-associated ICPs are upregulated in response to the same stimuli that induce EMT. Moreover, ICPs themselves, when overexpressed, become an EMT-inducing stimulus. As regards the cross-talk with autophagy, ICPs have been shown to either stimulate or inhibit autophagy, while autophagy itself can either up- or downregulate the expression of ICPs. This dynamic equilibrium also extends to the autophagy-apoptosis axis, further emphasizing the complexities of cellular responses. Eventually, we delve into the intricate balance between autophagy and apoptosis, elucidating its role in the broader interplay of cellular dynamics influenced by ICPs. In the final part of this article, we speculate about the driving forces underlying the contradictory outcomes of the reciprocal, inhibitory, or stimulatory effects between ICPs, EMT, and autophagy. A conclusive identification of these driving forces may allow to achieve improved antitumor effects when using combinations of ICIs and compounds acting on EMT and/or autophagy. Prospectively, this may translate into increased and/or broadened therapeutic efficacy compared to what is currently achieved with ICI-based clinical protocols.

Immune checkpoints between epithelial-mesenchymal transition and autophagy: A conflicting triangle / Cordani, Marco; Strippoli, Raffaele; Trionfetti, Flavia; Barzegar Behrooz, Amir; Rumio, Cristiano; Velasco, Guillermo; Ghavami, Saeid; Marcucci, Fabrizio. - In: CANCER LETTERS. - ISSN 0304-3835. - (2024), pp. 1-18. [10.1016/j.canlet.2024.216661]

Immune checkpoints between epithelial-mesenchymal transition and autophagy: A conflicting triangle

Raffaele Strippoli;Flavia Trionfetti;
2024

Abstract

Inhibitory immune checkpoint (ICP) molecules are pivotal in inhibiting innate and acquired antitumor immune responses, a mechanism frequently exploited by cancer cells to evade host immunity. These evasion strategies contribute to the complexity of cancer progression and therapeutic resistance. For this reason, ICP molecules have become targets for antitumor drugs, particularly monoclonal antibodies, collectively referred to as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), that counteract such cancer-associated immune suppression and restore antitumor immune responses. Over the last decade, however, it has become clear that tumor cell-associated ICPs can also induce tumor cell-intrinsic effects, in particular epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and macroautophagy (hereafter autophagy). Both of these processes have profound implications for cancer metastasis and drug responsiveness. This article reviews the positive or negative cross-talk that tumor cell-associated ICPs undergo with autophagy and EMT. We discuss that tumor cell-associated ICPs are upregulated in response to the same stimuli that induce EMT. Moreover, ICPs themselves, when overexpressed, become an EMT-inducing stimulus. As regards the cross-talk with autophagy, ICPs have been shown to either stimulate or inhibit autophagy, while autophagy itself can either up- or downregulate the expression of ICPs. This dynamic equilibrium also extends to the autophagy-apoptosis axis, further emphasizing the complexities of cellular responses. Eventually, we delve into the intricate balance between autophagy and apoptosis, elucidating its role in the broader interplay of cellular dynamics influenced by ICPs. In the final part of this article, we speculate about the driving forces underlying the contradictory outcomes of the reciprocal, inhibitory, or stimulatory effects between ICPs, EMT, and autophagy. A conclusive identification of these driving forces may allow to achieve improved antitumor effects when using combinations of ICIs and compounds acting on EMT and/or autophagy. Prospectively, this may translate into increased and/or broadened therapeutic efficacy compared to what is currently achieved with ICI-based clinical protocols.
2024
Immune checkpoints PD-L1 Epithelial-mesenchymal transition Autophagy Immunotherapy
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
Immune checkpoints between epithelial-mesenchymal transition and autophagy: A conflicting triangle / Cordani, Marco; Strippoli, Raffaele; Trionfetti, Flavia; Barzegar Behrooz, Amir; Rumio, Cristiano; Velasco, Guillermo; Ghavami, Saeid; Marcucci, Fabrizio. - In: CANCER LETTERS. - ISSN 0304-3835. - (2024), pp. 1-18. [10.1016/j.canlet.2024.216661]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1703577
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