Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) is also known as CD279 and PDCD1, is a type I membrane protein and is a member of the extended CD28/CTLA-4 family of T cell regulators. PDCD1 is expressed on the surface of activated T cells, B cells, macrophages, myeloid cells and a subset of thymocytes. PD-1 has two ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, which are members of the B7 family. PD-L1 is expressed on almost all murine tumor cell lines, including PA1 myeloma, P815 mastocytoma, and B16 melanoma upon treatment with IFN-γ. PD-L2 expression is more restricted and is expressed mainly by DCs and a few tumor lines. PD1 inhibits the T-cell proliferation and production of related cytokines including IL-1, IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-γ by suppressing the activation and transduction of PI3K/AKT pathway. In addition, coligation of PD1 inhibits BCR-mediating signal by dephosphorylating key signal transducer. In vitro, treatment of anti-CD3 stimulated T cells with PD-L1-Ig results in reduced T cell proliferation and IFN-γ secretion. Monoclonal antibodies targeting PD-1 that boost the immune system are being developed for the treatment of cancer.
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