The RMP1-14 monoclonal antibody reacts with mouse PD-1 (programmed death-1) also known as CD279. PD-1 is a 50-55 kDa cell surface receptor encoded by the Pdcd1 gene that belongs to the CD28 family of the Ig superfamily. PD-1 is transiently expressed on CD4 and CD8 thymocytes as well as activated T and B lymphocytes and myeloid cells. PD-1 expression declines after successful elimination of antigen. Additionally, Pdcd1 mRNA is expressed in developing B lymphocytes during the pro-B-cell stage. PD-1’s structure includes a ITIM (immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif) suggesting that PD-1 negatively regulates TCR signals. PD-1 signals via binding its two ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2 both members of the B7 family.
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Upon ligand binding, PD-1 signaling inhibits T-cell activation, leading to reduced proliferation, cytokine production, and T-cell death. Additionally, PD-1 is known to play key roles in peripheral tolerance and prevention of autoimmune disease in mice as PD-1 knockout animals show dilated cardiomyopathy, splenomegaly, and loss of peripheral tolerance.
Induced PD-L1 expression is common in many tumors including squamous cell carcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma, and breast adenocarcinoma. PD-L1 overexpression results in increased resistance of tumor cells to CD8 T cell mediated lysis. In mouse models of melanoma, tumor growth can be transiently arrested via treatment with antibodies which block the interaction between PD-L1 and its receptor PD-1. For these reasons anti-PD-1 mediated immunotherapies are currently being explored as cancer treatments. Like the J43 antibody the RMP1-14 antibody has been shown to block the binding of both mouse PD-L1-Ig and mouse PD-L2-Ig to PD-1.