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Can Immune Suppression and Epigenome Regulation in Placenta Offer Novel Insights into Cancer Immune Evasion and Immunotherapy Resistance?

1
Department of Pathology, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
2
Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, Level 2, 3A Symonds Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alessia Covre and Elisabetta Fratta
Received: 11 June 2021 / Revised: 18 July 2021 / Accepted: 22 July 2021 / Published: 25 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Immune Checkpoints)
Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the developed world. Cancer progression involves genetic and epigenetic alterations, accompanied by aggressive changes, such as increased immune evasion, onset of metastasis, and drug resistance. Similar to cancer, DNA hypomethylation, immune suppression, and invasive cell behaviours are also observed in the human placenta. Mechanisms that lead to the acquisition of invasive behaviour, immune evasion, and drug and immunotherapy resistance are presently under intense investigations to improve patient outcomes. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the similarities between immune suppression and epigenome regulation, including the expression of repetitive elements (REs), endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and transposable elements (TEs) in cells of the placenta and in cancer, which are associated with changes in immune regulation and invasiveness. We explore whether immune suppression and epigenome regulation in placenta offers novel insights into immunotherapy resistance in cancer, and we also discuss the implications and the knowledge gaps relevant to these findings, which are rapidly being accrued in these quite disparate research fields. Finally, we discuss potential linkages between TE, ERV and RE activation and expression, regarding mechanisms of immune regulation in placenta and cancer. A greater understanding of the role of immune suppression and associated epigenome regulation in placenta could help to elucidate some comparable mechanisms operating in cancer, and identify potential new therapeutic targets for treating cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; placenta; T-cells; PD-1; PD-L1; CTLA-4; immune system; immunotherapy; epigenetics; DNA methylation; transposable elements cancer; placenta; T-cells; PD-1; PD-L1; CTLA-4; immune system; immunotherapy; epigenetics; DNA methylation; transposable elements
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hossain, S.M.; Lynch-Sutherland, C.F.; Chatterjee, A.; Macaulay, E.C.; Eccles, M.R. Can Immune Suppression and Epigenome Regulation in Placenta Offer Novel Insights into Cancer Immune Evasion and Immunotherapy Resistance? Epigenomes 2021, 5, 16. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epigenomes5030016

AMA Style

Hossain SM, Lynch-Sutherland CF, Chatterjee A, Macaulay EC, Eccles MR. Can Immune Suppression and Epigenome Regulation in Placenta Offer Novel Insights into Cancer Immune Evasion and Immunotherapy Resistance? Epigenomes. 2021; 5(3):16. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epigenomes5030016

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hossain, Sultana M., Chiemi F. Lynch-Sutherland, Aniruddha Chatterjee, Erin C. Macaulay, and Michael R. Eccles 2021. "Can Immune Suppression and Epigenome Regulation in Placenta Offer Novel Insights into Cancer Immune Evasion and Immunotherapy Resistance?" Epigenomes 5, no. 3: 16. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epigenomes5030016

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