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YAP regulates PD-L1 expression in human NSCLC cells.

  • Author(s): Miao, Jinbai
  • Hsu, Ping-Chih
  • Yang, Yi-Lin
  • Xu, Zhidong
  • Dai, Yuyuan
  • Wang, Yucheng
  • Chan, Geraldine
  • Huang, Zhen
  • Hu, Bin
  • Li, Hui
  • Jablons, David M
  • You, Liang
  • et al.

Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a membrane protein on tumor cells that binds to the PD-1 receptor expressed on immune cells, leading to the immune escape of tumor cells. Yes-associated protein (YAP) is a main effector of the Hippo/YAP signaling pathway, which plays important roles in cancer development. Here we show that YAP regulates PD-L1 expression in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. First, we investigated YAP and PD-L1 expression at the protein level in 142 NSCLC samples and 15 normal lung samples. In tumor tissue, immunohistochemistry showed positive staining for YAP and PD-L1, which correlated significantly (n = 142, r = 0.514, P < 0.001). Second, in cell lines that express high levels of PD-L1 (H460, SKLU-1, and H1299), the ratio of p-YAP/YAP was lower and GTIIC reporter activity of the Hippo pathway was higher than those in three cell lines expressing low levels of PD-L1 (A549, H2030, and PC9) (P < 0.05). Third, in the same three cell lines, inhibition of YAP by two small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) decreased the mRNA and protein level of PD-L1 (P < 0.05). Fourth, forced overexpression of the YAP gene rescued the PD-L1 mRNA and protein level after siRNA knockdown targeting 3'UTR of the endogenous YAP gene. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays using a YAP-specific monoclonal antibody resulted in the precipitation of PD-L1 enhancer region encompassing two putative TEAD binding sites. Our results indicate that YAP regulates the transcription of PD-L1 in NSCLC.

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