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Immune escape is one of the main reasons for the rapid progression of cancer and the poor efficacy of immunotherapy. Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is usually accompanied by intra-tumoral lymphocytic infiltration. The mechanisms regulating this tumor associated immune response or its evasion are not well understood. The major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related proteins A (MICA) and its receptor the natural killer group 2 member D (NKG2D) are major executers of the anti-tumor defense. This work aimed to study the expression and regulation of MICA-NKG2D and its association with the lymphocytic infiltration and miRNAs in PTC. Expression of MICA and NKG2D in thyroid tissues, and in cultured primary thyroid cancer cells and lymphocytes transfected with miR-146b-5p inhibitor/mimic was tested by RT-PCR. Results were confirmed by immunofluorescence staining and confocal microscopy. MICA is expressed in malignant and benign thyroid tissues with no association with aggressive behavior. Expression of MICA and NKG2D in PTC is concomitant with the presence of tumor associated lymphocytic response and is regulated by miR-146b-5p. MiR-146b-5p indirectly downregulates NKG2D expression in cancer cells and in lymphocytes. Overexpression of miR-146b-5p in PTC down-regulates MICA expression possibly to reduce the immunogenicity of the tumor cells. Targeting of the MICA-NKG2D axis by miR-146b-5p might be one of the ways adopted by thyroid cancer cells to aid the tumor in evading the immune response. The importance of our findings resides in the potential therapeutic use of MICA, NKG2D and miRNA-146b-5p as targets or modulators to enable the immune response against cancer.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Experimental and molecular pathology
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The major interferon produced by mitogenically or antigenically stimulated LYMPHOCYTES. It is structurally different from TYPE I INTERFERON and its major activity is immunoregulation. It has been implicated in the expression of CLASS II HISTOCOMPATIBILITY ANTIGENS in cells that do not normally produce them, leading to AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.
Recirculating, dendritic, antigen-presenting cells containing characteristic racket-shaped granules (Birbeck granules). They are found principally in the stratum spinosum of the EPIDERMIS and are rich in Class II MAJOR HISTOCOMPATIBILITY COMPLEX molecules. Langerhans cells were the first dendritic cell to be described and have been a model of study for other dendritic cells (DCs), especially other migrating DCs such as dermal DCs and INTERSTITIAL DENDRITIC CELLS.
The genetic constitution of individuals with respect to one member of a pair of allelic genes, or sets of genes that are closely linked and tend to be inherited together such as those of the MAJOR HISTOCOMPATIBILITY COMPLEX.
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