What do we have to know about pd-l1 expression in prostate cancer? A systematic literature review. part 5: Epigenetic regulation of pd-l1

Andrea Palicelli, Stefania Croci, Alessandra Bisagni, Eleonora Zanetti, Dario De Biase, Beatrice Melli, Francesca Sanguedolce, Moira Ragazzi, Magda Zanelli, Alcides Chaux, Sofia Cañete-Portillo, Maria Paola Bonasoni, Alessandra Soriano, Stefano Ascani, Maurizio Zizzo, Carolina Castro Ruiz, Antonio De Leo, Guido Giordano, Matteo Landriscina, Giuseppe CarrieriLuigi Cormio, Daniel M. Berney, Jatin Gandhi, Davide Nicoli, Enrico Farnetti, Giacomo Santandrea, Martina Bonacini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Epigenetic alterations (including DNA methylation or miRNAs) influence oncogene/oncosuppressor gene expression without changing the DNA sequence. Prostate cancer (PC) displays a complex genetic and epigenetic regulation of cell-growth pathways and tumor progression. We performed a systematic literature review (following PRISMA guidelines) focused on the epigenetic regulation of PD-L1 expression in PC. In PC cell lines, CpG island methylation of the CD274 promoter negatively regulated PD-L1 expression. Histone modifiers also influence the PD-L1 transcription rate: the deletion or silencing of the histone modifiers MLL3/MML1 can positively regulate PD-L1 expression. Epigenetic drugs (EDs) may be promising in reprogramming tumor cells, reversing epigenetic modifications, and cancer immune evasion. EDs promoting a chromatin-inactive transcriptional state (such as bromodomain or p300/CBP inhibitors) downregulated PD-L1, while EDs favoring a chromatin-active state (i.e., histone deacetylase inhibitors) increased PD-L1 expression. miRNAs can regulate PD-L1 at a post-transcriptional level. miR-195/miR-16 were negatively associated with PD-L1 expression and positively correlated to longer biochemical recurrence-free survival; they also enhanced the radiotherapy efficacy in PC cell lines. miR-197 and miR-200a-c positively correlated to PD-L1 mRNA levels and inversely correlated to the methylation of PD-L1 promoter in a large series. miR-570, miR-34a and miR-513 may also be involved in epigenetic regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12314
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2021


  • Cancer
  • Checkpoint inhibitors
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetic
  • Immunotherapy
  • MiRNA
  • PD-L1
  • Prostate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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