Programmed death-1 (PD-1) /programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) engagement usually leads to diminished antitumor T-cell responses, which mediates the immune escape of tumor cells. However, little is known whether PD-1/PD-L1 could directly activates intracellular oncogenic signaling pathways in tumor cells. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether intracellular AKT/mTOR signaling could be directly activated by PD-1/PD-L1 during the malignant progression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Detection of the expression of PD-L1 and p-AKT by immunohistochemistry (IHC) showed that both proteins were overexpressed in 54% and 48% DLBCL cases, respectively. Spearman test showed that PD-L1 expression was correlated with p-AKT expression (R=0.244, χ2=5.962; P=0.017) and the expression of PD-L1 and p-AKT were also correlated with clinic-pathological characteristics. In addition, survival analysis showed that DLBCL patients who co-expressed PDL1 and p-AKT had significantly poorer outcome than patients with single positive or both negative expression (P<0.05). In vitro, total PD-L1 and membrane PD-L1 (mPD-L1) proteins were overexpressed in five DLBCL cell lines by western blot and flow cytometry. We observed that AKT/mTOR pathway was activated in DLBCL cells after stimulated with human recombination PD-1/Fc. Taken together, these results suggested that the combination of PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies and AKT/mTOR inhibitor might be a promising and novel therapeutic approach for DLBCL in the future.
- AKT/mTOR signaling
ASJC Scopus subject areas