Cells (Nov 2021)

Potential of E3 Ubiquitin Ligases in Cancer Immunity: Opportunities and Challenges

  • Peng Ye,
  • Xiaoxia Chi,
  • Jong-Ho Cha,
  • Shahang Luo,
  • Guanghui Yang,
  • Xiuwen Yan,
  • Wen-Hao Yang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 12
p. 3309


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Cancer immunotherapies, including immune checkpoint inhibitors and immune pathway–targeted therapies, are promising clinical strategies for treating cancer. However, drug resistance and adverse reactions remain the main challenges for immunotherapy management. The future direction of immunotherapy is mainly to reduce side effects and improve the treatment response rate by finding new targets and new methods of combination therapy. Ubiquitination plays a crucial role in regulating the degradation of immune checkpoints and the activation of immune-related pathways. Some drugs that target E3 ubiquitin ligases have exhibited beneficial effects in preclinical and clinical antitumor treatments. In this review, we discuss mechanisms through which E3 ligases regulate tumor immune checkpoints and immune-related pathways as well as the opportunities and challenges for integrating E3 ligases targeting drugs into cancer immunotherapy.