PD-1 and PD-1 ligands: from discovery to clinical application

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Programmed cell death-1 (PD-1, Pdcd1), an immunoreceptor belonging to the CD28/CTLA-4 family negatively regulates antigen receptor signaling by recruiting protein tyrosine phosphatase, SHP-2 upon interacting with either of two ligands, PD-L1 or PD-L2. Because of the wide range of ligand distribution in the body, its biological significance pervades almost every aspect of immune responses including autoimmunity, tumor immunity, infectious immunity, transplantation immunity, allergy and immunological privilege. In this review, we would like to summarize the history of PD-1 research since its discovery and recent findings that suggest promising future for the clinical application of PD-1 agonists and antagonists to various human diseases.

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