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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Role of miRs in immune suppression

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Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer20142 (Suppl 3) :P268

  • Published:


  • Innate Immune Response
  • Immune Escape
  • Protein Expression Pattern
  • Antigen Processing Machinery
  • Modulative miRs

Tumors evade adaptive and/or innate immune response multiple mechanisms including loss and/or down-regulation of HLA class I antigens due to reduced or impaired expression of single or multiple components of the antigen processing machinery (APM), loss of co-stimulatory molecules, expression of co-inhibitory molecules including B7-H family members as well as of the non-classical HLA-G antigen. This could lead to a reduced immune response mediated by various immune cell subpopulations. Due to the identification of microRNAs (miRs) that play a key role in tumor formation and/or suppression and in modulating immune cell differentiation as well as adaptive and innate immune responses the complexity of the molecular mechanisms of immune escape of tumors has increased. Therefore, the aim of the study is to determine the impact of miRs on tumor immune surveillance by identification of miRs modulating the expression of single or multiple APM components, B7-H1 molecules and/or HLA-G using different experimental approaches. In silico analysis, miR arrays, deep sequencing, luciferase reporter assays as well as enrichment of miRs by miTRAP led to the identification of a number of miRs involved in the different immune escape mechanisms. These distinct miRs identified functionally regulate the expression of the respective immune modulatory molecules, which directly affect the immune recognition of tumor cells. Furthermore, combining immunohistochemistry with miR expression using a tissue microarray revealed an inverse relationship of miR and HLA-G expression, which was associated with an increased tumor grading, but not with an enhanced tumor patients' survival. Furthermore, overexpression of these immune modulatory miRs results in altered protein expression pattern. In particular a high frequency of differentially expressed proteins involved in the cellular metabolism, cell proliferation, apoptosis and gene transcription could be identified suggesting that miRs exert a dual role by modulating both the tumorigenicity as well as the immunogenicity of tumor cells. Thus, these miRs might provide novel therapeutic targets and/or might be used as diagnostic or prognostic tools in cancers.

Authors’ Affiliations

Institute of Medical Immunology, Germany
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Institute of Medical Immunology, Halle, Germany
Institute of Pathology, University of Erlangen, Germany
Clinic of Urology, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
Institute of pathology, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany


© Seliger et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.