The association between the expression of PD-L1 and CMTM6 in undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma

Shin Ishihara, Takeshi Iwasaki, Kenichi Kohashi, Yuichi Yamada, Yu Toda, Yoshihiro Ito, Yousuke Susuki, Kengo Kawaguchi, Dai Takamatsu, Shinichiro Kawatoko, Daisuke Kiyozawa, Taro Mori, Izumi Kinoshita, Hidetaka Yamamoto, Toshifumi Fujiwara, Nokitaka Setsu, Makoto Endo, Yoshihiro Matsumoto, Yasuharu Nakashima, Yoshinao Oda

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) is a sarcoma with a poor prognosis. A clinical trial, SARC028, revealed that treatment with anti-PD-1 drugs was effective against UPS. Studies have reported that UPS expresses PD-L1, sometimes strongly (≥ 50%). However, the mechanism of PD-L1 expression in UPS has remained unclear. CKLF-like MARVEL transmembrane domain containing 6 (CMTM6) was identified as a novel regulator of PD-L1 expression. The positive relationship between PD-L1 and CMTM6 has been reported in several studies. The aim of this study was thus to examine CMTM6 expression in UPS and evaluate the relationship between PD-L1 and CMTM6 in this disease. Materials and methods: Fifty-one primary UPS samples were subjected to CMTM6 and PD-L1 immunostaining. CMTM6 expression was assessed using proportion and intensity scores. CMTM6 gene copy number was also evaluated using a real-time PCR-based copy number assay. We also analyzed the mRNA expression and copy number variation of PD-L1 and CMTM6 in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data. Results: TCGA data indicated that the mRNAs encoded by genes located around 3p22 were coexpressed with CMTM6 mRNA in UPS. Both proportion and intensity scores of CMTM6 positively correlated with strong PD-L1 expression (≥ 50%) (both p = 0.023). CMTM6 copy number gain increased CMTM6 expression. Patients with UPS with a high CMTM6 intensity score had a worse prognosis for overall survival. Conclusions: UPS showed variation in CMTM6 copy number and CMTM6 expression. CMTM6 expression was significantly correlated with PD-L1 expression, especially with strong PD-L1 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2003-2011
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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