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PDL1 Regulation in Embryonic and Cancer Stem Cells

The Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)-mediated immune checkpoint has been exploited for cancer treatments and allografts; however, the mechanisms regulating PD-L1 expression during stem cell differentiation and cancer cell plasticity remain unclear. In a new STEM CELLS article, researchers led by Shih-Hwa Chiou (Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei) and Yu-Ting Chou (National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, China) report that SOX2-mediated epigenetic control regulates PD-L1 expression during stem cell differentiation and contributes to heterogeneous PD-L1 expression in lung cancer cells. The results from Kuo et al. further indicate that crosstalk between SOX2-mediated epigenetic programming and cytokine signaling of TGF-β and HBEGF/EGFR affects PD-L1 expression during stem cell differentiation and cancer cell plasticity. Overall, this study may provide insights into PD-L1-mediated cancer therapeutics and regenerative medicines.