The role of genetic polymorphism within PD-L1 gene in cancer. Review

Bladder Cancer

Exp Mol Pathol. 2020 Jul 14:104494. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2020.104494. Online ahead of print.


The maintenance of homeostasis of the immune system depends on the balance between excitatory and inhibitory signals. Programmed death ligand (PD-L1) is a molecule which downregulates the immune system targeting the programmed death receptor 1 (PD-1). Under physiological conditions, the receptor is constitutively expressed in lymphocytes. The PD-L1 / PD-1 pathway plays a key role in completing the immune response in the right way, preventing excessive stimulation of the cells of the immune

system, protecting the organism against autoimmunity. Under pathological conditions PD-L1 expression may take place in tumor cells. Binding of PD-1 to its ligand on tumor cells suppresses T lymphocytes through a negative feedback. This mechanism allows abnormal cells to avoid destruction by the host immune system. The expression of PD-L1 in tumors has been described in many histological types of cancer: melanoma, lung cancer, breast and ovarian, pancreatic and esophagus adenocarcinoma, kidney tumors and bladder cancers as well as in hematopoietic malignancies. Many studies report a significant effect of PD-L1 polymorphisms on clinical parameters of patients. Studies of PD-L1 polymorphisms showed their influence on the stage of cancer, effectiveness of chemotherapy and prognosis after tumor resection. Further analysis of the polymorphisms may result in development of effective therapies that restore anti-tumor immunity. Inhibition of PD-L1 / PD-1 is one of the most promising immunotherapies for various types of cancer. This work was intended to present information about the impact of PD-L1 gene expression and polymorphisms on the clinical parameters of patients with cancer.