Regulation of programmed cell death ligand 1 expression by atypical protein kinase C lambda/iota in cutaneous angiosarcoma

Ai Kawamura, Takuji Kawamura, Meghan Riddell, Takao Hikita, Teruki Yanagi, Hiroshi Umemura, Masanori Nakayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The expression of immune checkpoint proteins such as programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1) has been shown to correlate with patient prognosis in many malignant cancers. The expression of PD-L1 is controlled by c-Myc; however, further upstream regulation of PD-L1 expression is largely unknown. We have previously shown that atypical protein kinase C lambda/iota (aPKCλ) phosphorylates the Forkhead box protein O1 (FoxO1) transcription factor at Ser218 to suppress its DNA-binding ability, thereby regulating c-Myc expression and controlling physiologic and pathologic endothelial proliferation. The presence of phosphorylation of FoxO1 at Ser218 (pSer218 FoxO1) in cutaneous angiosarcoma (CAS) strongly correlates with poor patient prognosis. Here, we reported that patients with PD-L1+ cells in CAS lesions showed significantly worse prognosis compared to those that were PD-L1. Expression of PD-L1 correlated with that of aPKCλ or the presence of pSer218FoxO1. Moreover, suppression of aPKCλ expression or inhibition of its activity in HUVECs or AS-M, an established human angiosarcoma cell line, resulted in decreased PD-L1 expression. Our results suggest that combined treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors and aPKCλ inhibitors could be a novel treatment strategy for CAS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1780-1789
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • aPKC
  • c-Myc
  • cutaneous angiosarcoma
  • FoxO1
  • PD-L1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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