Human leukocyte antigen‑G expression and polymorphisms promote cancer development and guide cancer diagnosis/treatment (Review)
- Yanwen Zhang
- Shuwen Yu
- Yali Han
- Yunshan Wang
- Yuping Sun
Published online on: November 14, 2017
Copyright: © Zhang et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Human leukocyte antigen‑G (HLA‑G) is a non‑classical HLA molecule, predominantly expressed in cytotrophoblast cells to protect the fetus during pregnancy. Notably, a high frequency of HLA‑G expression has been observed in a wide variety of cancer types in previous studies. Furthermore, HLA‑G expression in cancer has been considered to be detrimental, since it can protect cancer cells from natural killer cell cytotoxic T lymphocyte‑mediated destruction, promote tumor spreading and shorten the survival time of patients by facilitating tumor immune evasion. In addition, HLA‑G polymorphisms have been investigated in numerous types of cancer and are considered as risk factors and predictive markers of cancer. This review focuses on HLA‑G expression and its polymorphisms in cancer, analyzing the mechanisms of HLA‑G in promoting cancer development, and evaluating the potential and value of its clinical application as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker, or even as a prospective therapeutic target in certain types of tumors.