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Relevance of PD-L1 Non-Coding Polymorphisms on the Prognosis of a Genetically Admixed NSCLC Cohort

Authors: Machado-Rugolo, Juliana; Prieto, Tabatha Gutierrez; Fabro, Alexandre Todorovic; Parra Cuentas, Edwin Roger; Sá, Vanessa Karen; Baldavira, Camila Machado; Rainho, Claudia Aparecida; Castelli, Erick C.; Farhat, Cecilia; Takagaki, Teresa Yae; Nagai, Maria Aparecida; Capelozzi, Vera Luiza

Online: https://www.dovepress.com/relevance-of-pd-l1-non-coding-polymorphisms-on-the-prognosis-of-a-gene-peer-reviewed-article-PGPM

Issue: Pharmgenomics Pers Med . 2021 Feb 15;14:239-252.


Purpose: Although non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains a deadly disease, new predictive biomarkers have emerged to assist in managing the disease, of which one of the most promising is the programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). Each, PD-L1 variant seem to modulate the function of immune checkpoints differently and affect response to adjuvant treatment and outcome in NSCLC patients. We thus investigated the influence of these PDL1 genetic variations in genetically admixed NSCLC tissue samples, and correlated these values with clinicopathological characteristics, including prognosis. Materials and Methods: We evaluated PD-L1 non-coding genetic variants and protein expression in lung adenocarcinomas (ADC), squamous cell carcinomas (SqCC), and large cell carcinomas (LCC) in silico. Microarray paraffin blocks from 70 samples of ADC (N=33), SqCC (N=24), and LCC (N=13) were used to create PD-L1 multiplex immunofluorescence assays with a Cell Signaling E1L3N clone. Fifteen polymorphisms of the PD-L1 gene were investigated by targeted sequencing and evaluated in silico using dedicated tools. Results: Although PD-L1 polymorphisms seemed not to interfere with protein expression, PD-L1 expression varied among different histological subtypes, as did clinical outcomes, with the rs4742098A>G, rs4143815G>C, and rs7041009G>A variants being associated with relapse (P=0.01; P=0.05; P=0.02, respectively). The rs7041009 GG genotype showed a significant correlation with younger and alive patients compared to carriers of the A allele (P=0.02 and P<0.01, respectively). The Cox regression model showed that the rs7041009 GG genotype may influence OS (P<0.01) as a co-dependent factor associated with radiotherapy and recurrence in NSCLC patients. Furthermore, the Kaplan–Meier survival curves showed that rs7041009 and rs4742098 might impact PPS in relapsed patients. In silico approaches identified the variants as benign. Conclusion: PD-L1 non-coding variants play an important role in modulating immune checkpoint function and may be explored as immunotherapy biomarkers. We highlight the rs7041009 variant, which impacts OS and PPS in NSCLC patients.