Immune Checkpoint Molecules

Immune checkpoint molecules are extremely important regulators of the immune system. There are over 30 immune checkpoint molecules and dependent on which are in abundance at any given time can either lead to stimulation or inhibition of the immune response.

Immune checkpoint molecules are expressed by T-cells and Antigen Presenting Cells regulate the magnitude and longevity of the immune response to effectively remove pathogens whilst preventing over stimulation leading to inflammation and in severe cases autoimmune disease.

Below is a diagram of some of the immune checkpoint molecules and their signaling pathways.

Immune Checkpoint molecules and their targets.

Adapted from Marin-Acevedo, J.A., et al. with modification. J Hematol Oncol 11, 39 (2018) doi:10.1186/s13045-018-0582-8

A List of Immune Checkpoint Molecules

Molecule Name
A2aR
4-1BB
4-1BBL
B7-H3
B7RP1
BTLA
CD27
CD40
CD40L
CD70
CD80
CD86
CD112
CD155
CD226
CTLA-4
Galectin-9
GITR
GITRL
HVEM
ICOS
KIR
LAG-3
MHC I
MHC II
OX40
OX40L
PD-1
PD-L1
PD-L2
TIGIT
TIM-3
VISTA

Immune Checkpoint Molecules in Disease

It was not long after the discovery of immune checkpoint molecules that it was shown that cancer cells evolve to express more inhibitory immune checkpoint molecules to help them evade the immune system. However, immune checkpoints also give oncologists an opportunity to treat cancer in the same way: by either blocking the inhibitory molecules or by promoting the stimulation of the immune response. There are a growing number of drugs in the clinic and in clinical trials that operate in this way.

ichorbio supplies a number of biosimilar antibodies that target immune checkpoint molecules: