Cripto-1 as a potential target of cancer stem cells for immunotherapy

Hiroko Ishii, Said M. Afify, Ghmkin Hassan, David S. Salomon, Masaharu Seno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The immune system has been found to be suppressed in cancer patients. Cancer cells are extremely resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs, conventional immunotherapy, or cancer antigen vaccine therapy. Cancer immunotherapy, which is mainly based on immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as those for PD-1, PD-L1, and CTLA4, is an effective treatment method. However, no immunotherapeutic target has been found that retains validity in the face of tumor diversity. The transforming growth factor (TGF)-β cytokine family possesses broad biological activity and is involved in the induction and/or transdifferentiation of helper T cells, which are important in immunotherapy. Nodal is a member of the TGF-β family playing important roles in tissue stem cells and cancer stem cells (CSCs), interacting with the co-receptor Cripto-1, as well as with Activin type IB (Alk4) and Activin typeIIreceptors, and maintaining stemness and Notch and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in CSCs. In recent years, it has been reported that Cripto-1 could be a potential therapeutic target in CSCs. Here, we review the accumulated literature on the molecular mechanisms by which Cripto-1 functions in CSCs and discuss the potential of Cripto-1 as an immunotherapeutic target in CSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2491
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2 2021


  • Antibody
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Cripto-1
  • Immunotherapy
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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