PD-L1-specific T cells

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2016 Jul;65(7):797-804. doi: 10.1007/s00262-015-1783-4. Epub 2016 Jan 2.


Recently, there has been an increased focus on the immune checkpoint protein PD-1 and its ligand PD-L1 due to the discovery that blocking the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway with monoclonal antibodies elicits striking clinical results in many different malignancies. We have described naturally occurring PD-L1-specific T cells that recognize both PD-L1-expressing immune cells and malignant cells. Thus, PD-L1-specific T cells have the ability to modulate adaptive immune reactions by reacting to regulatory cells. Thus, utilization of PD-L1-derived T cell epitopes may represent an attractive vaccination strategy for targeting the tumor microenvironment and for boosting the clinical effects of additional anticancer immunotherapy. This review summarizes present information about PD-L1 as a T cell antigen, depicts the initial findings about the function of PD-L1-specific T cells in the adjustment of immune responses, and discusses future opportunities.

Keywords: Anti-Tregs; CITIM 2015; Cancer vaccines; PD-L1; PD-L1-specific T cells.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • B7-H1 Antigen / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology


  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CD274 protein, human
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte