Programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a transmembrane protein that acts as a co-inhibitory factor in the immune response. Its receptor, programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1), is found on immune cells, where binding to PD-L1 can reduce the proliferation of PD-1-positive cells, inhibit their cytokine secretion and induce apoptosis. PD-L1 in immune-privileged tissue plays a crucial role in peripheral tolerance. PD-L1 can be overexpressed in various malignancies, including oral squamous cell carcinoma, where it can attenuate the host immune response to tumour cells and has been associated with a worse prognosis. Monoclonal antibody therapies targeting the PD-1:PD-L1 axis have shown initial promise, but further research is needed to identify which patients will benefit. We provide an update of knowledge on PD-L1, including its structure, function and regulation. We also review studies on the overexpression of PD-L1 in cancer, specifically oral squamous cell carcinoma, and explore its potential value as a therapeutic target.
Keywords: PD-L1; oral cancer; prognostic; programmed death-ligand 1; therapy.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.
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