[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cervical cancer represents the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide. Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in the defense against viruses, intracellular bacteria and tumors. NKG2D, an activating receptor on NK cells, recognizes MHC class I chain-related molecules, such as MICA/B and members of the ULBP/RAET1 family. Tumor-derived soluble NKG2D-ligands have been shown to down-modulate the expression of NKG2D on NK cells. In addition to the down-modulation induced by soluble NKG2D-ligands, it has recently been described that persistent cell-cell contact can also down-modulate NKG2D expression. The goal of this study was to determine whether the NKG2D receptor is down-modulated by cell-cell contact with cervical cancer cells and whether this down-modulation might be associated with changes in NK cell activity.
We demonstrate that NKG2D expressed on NKL cells is down-modulated by direct cell contact with cervical cancer cell lines HeLa, SiHa, and C33A, but not with non-tumorigenic keratinocytes (HaCaT). Moreover, this down-modulation had functional implications. We found expression of NKG2D-ligands in all cervical cancer cell lines, but the patterns of ligand distribution were different in each cell line. Cervical cancer cell lines co-cultured with NKL cells or fresh NK cells induced a marked diminution of NKG2D expression on NKL cells. Additionally, the cytotoxic activity of NKL cells against K562 targets was compromised after co-culture with HeLa and SiHa cells, while co-culture with C33A increased the cytotoxic activity of the NKL cells.
Our results suggest that differential expression of NKG2D-ligands in cervical cancer cell lines might be associated with the down-modulation of NKG2D, as well as with changes in the cytotoxic activity of NKL cells after cell-cell contact with the tumor cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural killer (NK) cells are an important resource of the innate immune system directly involved in the spontaneous recognition and lysis of virus-infected and tumor cells. An exquisite balance of inhibitory and activating receptors tightly controls the NK cell activity. At present, one of the best-characterized activating receptors is NKG2D, which promotes the NK-mediated lysis of target cells by binding to a family of cell surface ligands encoded by the MHC class I chain-related (MIC) genes, among others. The goal of this study was to describe the expression pattern of MICA and MICB at the molecular and cellular levels in human cervical cancer cell lines infected or not with human papillomavirus, as well as in a non-tumorigenic keratinocyte cell line.
Here we show that MICA and MICB exhibit differential expression patterns among HPV-infected (SiHa and HeLa) and non-infected cell lines (C33-A, a tumor cell line, and HaCaT, an immortalized keratinocyte cell line). Cell surface expression of MICA was higher than cell surface expression of MICB in the HPV-positive cell lines; in contrast, HPV-negative cells expressed lower levels of MICA. Interestingly, the MICA levels observed in C33-A cells were overcome by significantly higher MICB expression. Also, all cell lines released higher amounts of soluble MICB than of soluble MICA into the cell culture supernatant, although this was most pronounced in C33-A cells. Additionally, Real-Time PCR analysis demonstrated that MICA was strongly upregulated after genotoxic stress.
This study provides evidence that even when MICA and MICB share a high degree of homology at both genomic and protein levels, differential regulation of their expression and cell surface appearance might be occurring in cervical cancer-derived cells.
Cancer Cell International 01/2011; 11:15. · 2.09 Impact Factor