Immunology

Innate receptor sees cancer growth factor

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Science  16 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6377, pp. 757-758
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6377.757-b

Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) and natural killer (NK) cells express receptors that recognize ligands associated with pathogens and cellular stress. One such human receptor, NKp44, has been implicated in recognizing transformed cells, but its actual target has remained elusive. Barrow et al. report that a member of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family, PDGF-DD, is a ligand for NKp44. Notably, cancer cells use PDGFs to promote their survival, growth, and dissemination. PDGF-DD induced ILC and NK cell cytokine secretion in vitro. Furthermore, the expression of PDGF-DD in tumors promoted increased rejection in NKp44-expressing transgenic mice. This was further enhanced by anti-CD96 checkpoint blockade. A meta-analysis of human cancer data hints that NKp44–PDGF-DD interactions may have positive clinical outcomes for certain cancers, such as glioblastoma.

Cell 10.1016/j.cell.2017.11.037 (2018).

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