To kill a cancer: Targeting the immune inhibitory checkpoint molecule, B7-H3

Ranjana K. Kanchan, David Doss, Parvez Khan, Mohd Wasim Nasser, Sidharth Mahapatra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Targeting the anti-tumor immune response via the B7 family of immune-regulatory checkpoint proteins has revolutionized cancer treatment and resulted in punctuated responses in patients. B7-H3 has gained recent attention given its prominent deregulation and immunomodulatory role in a multitude of cancers. Numerous cancer studies have firmly established a strong link between deregulated B7-H3 expression and poorer outcomes. B7-H3 has been shown to augment cancer cell survival, proliferation, metastasis, and drug resistance by inducing an immune evasive phenotype through its effects on tumor-infiltrating immune cells, cancer cells, cancer-associated vasculature, and the stroma. Given the complex interplay between each of these components of the tumor microenvironment, a deeper understanding of B7-H3 signaling properties is inherently crucial to developing efficacious therapies that can target and inhibit these cancer-promoting interactions. This review delves into the various ways B7-H3 acts as an immunomodulator to facilitate immune evasion and promote tumor growth and spread. With post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications giving rise to different active isoforms coupled with recent discoveries of its putative receptors, B7-H3 can perform diverse functions. Here, we first discuss the dual co-stimulatory/co-inhibitory functions of B7-H3 in the context of normal physiology and cancer. We then discuss the crosstalk facilitated by B7-H3 between stromal components and tumor cells that promote tumor growth and metastasis in different populations of tumor cells, associated vasculature, and the stroma. Concurrently, we highlight therapeutic strategies that can exploit these interactions and their associated limitations, concluding with a special focus on the promise of next-gen in silico-based approaches to small molecule inhibitor drug discovery for B7-H3 that may mitigate these limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number188783
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • B7-H3
  • Cancer immunotherapy
  • CD276
  • Immune evasion
  • Targeted immunotherapy
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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