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Progestagen-associated endometrial protein (PAEP) is a glycoprotein of the lipocalin family that acts as a negative regulator of T cell receptor-mediated activation. However, the function of tumor-derived PAEP on the human immune system in the tumor microenvironment is unknown. PAEP is highly expressed in intermediate and thick primary melanomas (Breslow's 2.5mm or greater) and metastatic melanomas, correlating with its expression in daughter cell lines established in vitro. The current study investigates the role of melanoma cell-secreted PAEP protein in regulating T cell function. Upon the enrichment of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, each subset was then mixed with either melanoma-derived PAEP protein or PAEP-poor supernatant of gene-silenced tumor cells. IL-2 and IFN-γ secretion of CD4+ T cells significantly decreased with the addition of PAEP-rich supernatant. And the addition of PAEP-positive cell supernatant to activated lymphocytes significantly inhibited lymphocyte proliferation and cytotoxic T cell activity, while increasing lymphocyte apoptosis. Our result suggests that melanoma cell-secreted PAEP protein immunosuppresses the activation, proliferation and cytotoxicity of T lymphocytes, which might partially explain the mechanism of immune tolerance induced by melanoma cells within the tumor microenvironment.

Citation

Suping Ren, Lina Chai, Chunyan Wang, Changlan Li, Qiquan Ren, Lihua Yang, Fumei Wang, Zhixin Qiao, Weijing Li, Min He, Adam I Riker, Ying Han, Qun Yu. Human malignant melanoma-derived progestagen-associated endometrial protein immunosuppresses T lymphocytes in vitro. PloS one. 2015;10(3):e0119038

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PMID: 25785839

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