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Sep 2009 European journal of immunology

A role for HVEM, but not lymphotoxin-beta receptor, in LIGHT-induced tumor cell death and chemokine production.


Pasero C, Barbarat B, Just-Landi S, Aurran-Schleinitz T, Rey J, Eldering E, Truneh A, Costello RT, Olive D


The TNF member LIGHT also known as TL4 or TNFSF14) can play a major role in cancer control via its two receptors; it induces tumor cell death through lymphotoxin-beta receptor (LT-betaR) and ligation to the herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) amplifies the immune response. By studying the effect of LIGHT in the transcriptional profile of a lymphoid malignancy, we found that HVEM, but not LT-betaR, stimulation induces a significant increase in the expression of chemokine genes such as IL-8, and an unexpected upregulation of apoptotic genes. This had functional consequences, since LIGHT, or HVEM mAb, thus far known to costimulate T- and B-cell activation, induced chronic lymphocytic leukemia cell death. Many of the mediators involved were identified here, with an apoptotic pathway as demonstrated by caspases activation, decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, upregulation of the pro-apoptotic protein Bax, but also a role of TRAIL. Moreover, HVEM induced endogenous TNF-alpha production and TNF-alpha enhanced HVEM-mediated cell death. HVEM function was mainly dependent on LIGHT, since other ligands like HSV-glycoprotein D and B and T lymphocyte attenuator were essentially ineffective. In conclusion, we describe a novel, as yet unknown killing effect of LIGHT through HVEM on a lymphoid malignancy, and combined with induction of chemokine release this may represent an additional tool to boost cancer immunotherapy.

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