Control of PD-L1 expression by miR-140/142/340/383 and oncogenic activation of the OCT4-miR-18a pathway in cervical cancer.

PMID 29855617


PD-L1, a key inhibitory immune receptor, has crucial functions in cancer immune evasion, but whether PD-L1 promotes the malignant properties of cervical cancer (CC) cells and the mechanism by which PD-L1 is regulated in CC remains unclear. We report that PD-L1 is overexpressed in CC, and shRNA-mediated PD-L1 depletion suppresses the proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis of CC cells. Loss of miR-140/142/340/383 contributes to PD-L1 upregulation. miR-18a enhances PD-L1 levels by targeting PTEN, WNK2 (ERK1/2 pathway inhibitor), and SOX6 (Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibitor and p53 pathway activator) to activate the PI3K/AKT, MEK/ERK, and Wnt/β-catenin pathways and inhibit the p53 pathway, and miR-18a also directly suppresses the expression of the tumor suppressors BTG3 and RBSP3 (CTDSPL). miR-18a overexpression in CC cells is triggered by OCT4 overexpression. Our data implicate PD-L1 as a novel oncoprotein and indicate that miR-140/142/340/383 and miR-18a are key upstream regulators of PD-L1 and potential targets for CC treatment.