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Role of 4-1BB : 4-1BB ligand in cancer immunotherapy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

A T C Cheuk, G J Mufti, B A Guinn

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215 - 226
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Gene Therapy
Issue number3
PublishedMar 2004

King's Authors


The activation of T cells plays a central role in antitumor immunity. In order to activate naive T cells, two key signals are required. Signal one is provided through the T-cell receptor (TCR) while signal two is that of costimulation. The CD28:B7 molecules are one of the best-studied costimulatory pathways, thought to be the main mechanism through which primary T-cell stimulation occurs. However, a number of molecules have been identified which serve to amplify and diversify the T-cell response, following initial T-cell activation. These include the more recently described 4-1BB:4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL) molecules. 4-1BB:4-1BBL are a member of the TNFR: TNF ligand family, which are expressed on T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs), respectively. Therapies utilizing the 4-1BB:4-1BBL signaling pathway have been shown to have antitumor effects in a number of model systems. In this paper, we focus on the 4-1BB: 4-1BBL costimulatory molecules. In particular, we will describe the structure and function of the 4-1BB molecule, its receptor and how 4-1BB:4-1BBL costimulation has and may be used for the immunotherapy of cancer.

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