DNAM-1 versus TIGIT: competitive roles in tumor immunity and inflammatory responses

Int Immunol. 2021 Nov 25;33(12):687-692. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxab085.


The co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory immunoreceptors, DNAX accessory molecule-1 (DNAM-1) and T-cell immunoreceptor with immunoglobulin and immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM) domain (TIGIT), are paired activating and inhibitory receptors on T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. They share the ligands poliovirus receptor (PVR, CD155) and its family member nectin-2 (CD112), which are highly expressed on antigen-presenting cells (APCs), tumors and virus-infected cells. Upon ligation with the ligands, DNAM-1 and TIGIT show reciprocal functions; whereas DNAM-1 promotes activation, proliferation, cytokine production and cytotoxic activity in effector lymphocytes, including CD4+ T-helper cells, CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes and NK cells, TIGIT inhibits these DNAM-1 functions. On the other hand, DNAM-1 competes with TIGIT on regulatory T (Treg) cells in binding to CD155 and therefore regulates TIGIT signaling to down-regulate Treg cell function. Thus, whereas DNAM-1 enhances anti-tumor immunity and inflammatory responses by augmenting effector lymphocyte function and suppressing Treg cell function, TIGIT reciprocally suppresses these immune responses by suppressing effector lymphocyte function and augmenting Treg cell function. Thus, blockade of DNAM-1 and TIGIT function would be potential therapeutic approaches for patients with inflammatory diseases and those with cancers and virus infection, respectively.

Keywords: CD155; activating and inhibitory receptors; autoimmune diseases; immune checkpoint inhibitors; tumors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology


  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD226 antigen
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • TIGIT protein, human