What is it about?

We have shown that the unfolded protein (UPR) response regulates the transcription of the natural killer cells (NK) ligands MICA and B on melanoma cancer cells, this ligand binds to the NK cells receptor, NKG2D, leading to their activation.

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Why is it important?

This study links the endoplasmic reticulum stress, that activates the UPR, to the regulation of natural killer cells activity in cancer. It also shows that this type of cellular stress negatively regulates the expression of MICA and MICB, this was not expected as these two ligands are known to be upregulated by cellular stress. This study opens the way to study inhibitors of the UPR to enhance the activity of NK cells against cancer.


This is my first publication as the first author, it included an incredible collaboration with great labs around the world. I am happy to add a small fraction to our knowledge about the interaction between cancer and the immune system, hoping that one day we will be able to cure it.

Akram Obiedat
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Transcription of the NKG2D ligand MICA is suppressed by the IRE1/XBP1 pathway of the unfolded protein response through the regulation of E2F1, The FASEB Journal, November 2018, Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB),
DOI: 10.1096/fj.201801350rr.
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