HLA-G and Immune Evasion in Cancer Cells

Jim Sheu, Ie Ming Shih

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Acquisition of novel gene products or new antigens in cancer cells elicits a host immune response that results in selection pressure for tumor clones to evade immunosurveillance. Similar to maternal-fetal tolerance and allotransplantation acceptance, upregulation of HLA-G expression has been found as one of the mechanisms that are programmed in cancer cells. HLA-G expression is frequently detected in a wide variety of human cancers and its protein levels negatively correlate with poor clinical outcome. The immune inhibitory effect can be achieved by binding of HLA-G molecules to the immunoglobulin-like inhibitory receptors that are expressed on the immunocompetent cells at all stages of the immune response. This review summarizes recent studies of HLA-G expression in human cancer, with a special focus on the molecular mechanisms that underlie how HLA-G molecules facilitate tumor cell evasion of the host immune response, and presents new directions for developing HLA-G-based diagnosis/therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-257
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • HLA-G
  • cancer
  • immunosurveillance
  • therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'HLA-G and Immune Evasion in Cancer Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this