We here explore the soluble Human Leukocyte Antigen-G (sHLA-G) expression level as clinical biomarker in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). To this aim the sHLA-G protein was measured in plasma samples of 40 patients with mCRC treated with the FOLFIRI (irinotecan (CPT-11) plus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin (LV)) regimen. The results suggest a link between HLA-G levels and irinotecan (CPT-11) pharmacokinetic, leading to hypothesize a molecular interaction between sHLA-G and CPT-11. This interaction was confirmed experimentally by fluorescence spectroscopy. HLA-G is known to exist in a number of polymorphs that affect both the protein expression levels and its peptide-binding cleft. The interaction between HLA-G polymorphs and CPT-11 was explored by means of computational modelling, confirming the hypothesis that CPT-11 could actually target the peptide binding cleft of the most common HLA-G polymorphs.
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