Tumor cell-intrinsic programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) signals mediate immunopathologic effects in breast, colon, and ovarian cancers and in melanomas, but bladder cancer (BC) effects are unreported. We show here that BC cell-intrinsic PD-L1 signals in mouse MB49 and human RT4, UM-UC3, and UM-UC-14 BC cells regulate important pathologic pathways and processes, including effects not reported in other cancers. α-PD-L1 antibodies reduced BC cell proliferation in vitro, demonstrating direct signaling effects. BC cell-intrinsic PD-L1 promoted mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signals in vitro and augmented in vivo immune-independent cell growth and metastatic cancer spread, similar to effects we reported in melanoma and ovarian cancer. BC cell-intrinsic PD-L1 signals also promoted basal and stress-induced autophagy, whereas these signals inhibited autophagy in melanoma and ovarian cancer cells. BC cell-intrinsic PD-L1 also mediated chemotherapy resistance to the commonly used BC chemotherapy agents cis-platinum and gemcitabine and to the mTORC1 inhibitor, rapamycin. Thus, BC cell-intrinsic PD-L1 signals regulate important virulence and treatment resistance pathways that suggest novel, actionable treatment targets meriting additional studies. As a proof-of-concept, we showed that the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine improved cis-platinum treatment efficacy in vivo, with greater efficacy in PD-L1 null versus PD-L1-replete BC.
- bladder cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research