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Journal of Translational Medicine


Background: Nearly 80% of patients with pancreatic cancer suffer from glucose intolerance or diabetes. Pancreatic cancer complicated by diabetes has a more immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) and is associated with a worse prognosis. The relationship between glucose metabolism and programmed cell death-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) is close and complex. It is important to explore the regulation of high glucose on PD-L1 expression in pancreatic cancer and its effect on infiltrating immune effectors in the tumor microenvironment. Methods: Diabetic murine models (C57BL/6) were used to reveal different immune landscape in euglycemic and hyperglycemic pancreatic tumor microenvironment. Bioinformatics, WB, iRIP [Improved RNA Binding Protein (RBP) Immunoprecipitation]-seq were used to confirm the potential regulating role of peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase 1 homolog (PTRH1) on the stability of the PD-L1 mRNA. Postoperative specimens were used to identify the expression of PD-L1 and PTRH1 in pancreatic cancer. Co-culturing T cells with pancreatic cancer cells to explore the immunosuppressive effect of pancreatic tumor cells. Results: Our results revealed that a high dose of glucose enhanced the stability of the PD-L1 mRNA in pancreatic tumor cells by downregulating PTRH1 through RAS signaling pathway activation following epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) stimulation. PTRH1 overexpression significantly suppressed PD-L1 expression in pancreatic cells and improved the proportion and cytotoxic function of CD8+ T cells in the pancreatic TME of diabetic mice. Conclusions: PTRH1, an RBP, plays a key role in the regulation of PD-L1 by high glucose and is closely related to anti-tumor immunity in the pancreatic TME.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.