Immune and metabolic checkpoints blockade: Dual wielding against tumors.

Affiliation

Kazemi MH(1), Najafi A(2), Karami J(3), Ghazizadeh F(4), Yousefi H(5), Falak R(6), Safari E(7).
Author information:
(1)Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Immunology Research Center, Institute of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Immunology Research Center, Institute of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Laboratory Sciences, Khomein University of Medical Sciences, Khomein, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(4)Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(5)Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, LSUHSC School of Medicine, New Orleans, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
(6)Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Immunology Research Center, Institute of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]
(7)Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Immunology Research Center, Institute of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Recent advances in cancer immunotherapy have raised hopes for treating cancers that are resistant to conventional therapies. Among the various immunotherapy methods, the immune checkpoint (IC) blockers were more promising and have paved their way to the clinic. Tumor cells induce the expression of ICs on the immune cells and derive them to a hyporesponsive exhausted phenotype. IC blockers could hinder immune exhaustion in the tumor microenvironment and reinvigorate immune cells for an efficient antitumor response. Despite the primary success of IC blockers in the clinic, the growing numbers of refractory cases require an in-depth study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying IC expression and function. Immunometabolism is recently found to be a key factor in the regulation of immune responses. Activated or exhausted immune cells exploit different metabolic pathways. Tumor cells can suppress antitumor responses via immunometabolism alteration. Therefore, it is expected that concurrent targeting of ICs and immunometabolism pathways can cause immune cells to restore their antitumor activity. In this review, we dissected the reciprocal interactions of immune cell metabolism with expression and signaling of ICs in the tumor microenvironment. Recent findings on dual targeting of ICs and metabolic checkpoints have also been discussed.