CD26/dipeptidyl peptidase IV as a novel therapeutic target for cancer and immune disorders

Mini Rev Med Chem. 2007 Mar;7(3):253-73. doi: 10.2174/138955707780059853.


CD26 is a 110 kDa surface glycoprotein with intrinsic dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV) activity that is expressed on numerous cell types and has a multitude of biological functions. An important aspect of CD26 biology is its peptidase activity and its functional and physical association with molecules with key roles in various cellular pathways and biological programs. CD26 role in immune regulation has been extensively characterized, with recent findings elucidating its linkage with signaling pathways and structures involved in T-lymphocyte activation as well as antigen presenting cell-T-cell interaction. Recent work also suggests that CD26 has a significant role in tumor biology, being both a marker of disease behavior clinically as well as playing an important role in tumor pathogenesis and development. In this paper, we will review emerging data that suggest CD26 may be an appropriate therapeutic target for the treatment of selected neoplasms and immune disorders. Through the use of various experimental approaches and agents to influence CD26/DPPIV expression and activity, such as anti-CD26 antibodies, CD26/DPPIV chemical inhibitors, siRNAs to inhibit CD26 expression, overexpressing CD26 transfectants and soluble CD26 molecules, our group has shown that CD26 interacts with structures with essential cellular functions. Its association with such key molecules as topoisomerase IIalpha, p38 MAPK, and integrin beta1, has important clinical implications, including its potential ability to regulate tumor sensitivity to selected chemotherapies and to influence tumor migration/metastases and tumorigenesis. Importantly, our recent in vitro and in vivo data support the hypothesis that CD26 may indeed be an appropriate target for therapy for selected cancers and immune disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 / genetics
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 / immunology
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Immune System Diseases / enzymology
  • Immune System Diseases / genetics
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4