Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(10):1420-1430. doi:10.7150/ijbs.5273


Immunotherapies: The Blockade of Inhibitory Signals

Yan-Ling Wu1✉, Jing Liang2, Wen Zhang2✉, Yoshimasa Tanaka3, Hiroshi Sugiyama4

1. Virus Inspection Department of Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 630 Xincheng Road, Hangzhou, 310051, China.
2. Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University of Technology, 18 Chaowang Road, Hangzhou, 310014, China.
3. Center for Innovation in Immunoregulative Technology and Therapeutics, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan.
4. Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.

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Wu YL, Liang J, Zhang W, Tanaka Y, Sugiyama H. Immunotherapies: The Blockade of Inhibitory Signals. Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(10):1420-1430. doi:10.7150/ijbs.5273. Available from

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T lymphocytes require signaling by the T cell receptor and by nonclonotypic cosignaling receptors. The costimulatory and inhibitory signals profoundly influence the course of immune responses by amplifying or reducing the transcriptional effects of T cell receptor triggering. The inhibitory receptors such as CTLA-4, PD-1, and BTLA have recently drawn much attention as potential targets for immunotherapies. This review focuses on the progress that has been made with the mentioned receptors in the field of immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases, malignancies, infectious diseases, and transplantation.

Keywords: Inhibitory receptors, CTLA-4, PD-1, BTLA, immunotherapy.