SPI-CI and SPI-6 cooperate in the protection from effector cell-mediated cytotoxicity

Bots, M.; Kolfschoten, I. G. M.; Bres, S. A.; Rademaker, M. T. G. A.; de Roo, G. M.; Kruse, M.; Franken, K. L. M. C.; Hahne, M.; Froelich, C. J.; Melief, C. J. M.; Offringa, R.; Medema, J. P.


2005-02-01 / vol 105 / pages 1153-1161


Tumors have several mechanisms to escape from the immune system. One of these involves expression of intracellular anticytotoxic proteins that modulate the execution of cell death. Previously, we have shown that the serine protease inhibitor (serpin) SPI-6, which inactivates the cytotoxic protease granzyme B (GrB), is capable of preventing cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated apoptosis. Despite its potent antiapoptotic activity, SPI-6 does not prevent membranolysis induced by cytotoxic lymphocytes. We now provide evidence that several colon carcinoma cell lines do resist membranolysis and that this protection is dependent on SPI-6 but also requires expression of a closely related serpin called SPI-Cl (serine protease inhibitor involved in cytotoxicity inhibition). Expression of SPI-Cl is absent from normal colon but observed in placenta, testis, early during embryogenesis, and in cytotoxic lymphocytes. SPI-Cl encodes a chymotrypsin-specific inhibitor and irreversibly interacts with purified granzyme M. Moreover, SPI-Cl can protect cells from purified perforin/GrM-induced lysis. Our data therefore indicate that SPI-Cl is a novel immune escape molecule that acts in concert with SPI-6 to prevent cytotoxic lymphocyte-mediated killing of tumor cells. (C) 2005 by The American Society of Hematology.



DNA fragmentation; activated killer-cells; cytokine response modifier; cytolytic leukocytes; cytosolic delivery; granzyme-b inhibitor; natural-killer; rapid induction; serine-protease inhibitor; target-cells

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