Anti-CD47 antibody as a targeted therapeutic agent for human lung cancer and cancer stem cells

Liang Liu, Lin Zhang, Lin Yang, Hui Li, Runmei Li, Jinpu Yu, Lili Yang, Feng Wei, Cihui Yan, Qian Sun, Hua Zhao, Fan Yang, Hao Jin, Jian Wang, Shizhen Emily Wang, Xiubao Ren

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    20 Scopus citations


    Accumulating evidence indicates that a small subset of cancer cells,termed the tumor-initiating cells or cancer stem cells (CSCs), construct a reservoir of self-sustaining cancer cells with the characteristic ability to self-renew and maintain the tumor mass. The CSCs play an important role in the tumor initiation, development, relapse, metastasis, and the ineffectiveness of conventional cancer therapies. CD47 is a ligand for signal-regulatory protein-a expressed on phagocytic cells and functions to inhibit phagocytosis. This study was to explore if the expression of CD47 is the mechanism used by lung cancer cells, especially CSCs, to escape phagocytosis in vitro and in vivo. Here, we selected CD133 as the marker for lung CSCs according to previous reports. We analyzed lung cancer and matched adjacent normal (non-tumor) tissue and revealed that CD47 is overexpressed on lung cancer cells, especially on lung CSCs. The mRNA expression levels of CD47 and CD133 correlated with a decreased probability of survival for multiple types of lung cancer. Blocking CD47 function with anti-CD47 antibodies enabled macrophage phagocytosis of lung cancer cells and lung CSCs. Anti-CD47 antibodies inhibited tumor growth in immunodeficient mouse xenotransplantation models established with lung cancer cells or lung CSCs and improved survival in tumor-bearing animals. These data indicate that CD47 is a valid target for cancer therapies, especially for anti-CSC therapies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number404
    JournalFrontiers in immunology
    Issue numberAPR
    StatePublished - Apr 21 2017



    • Antibody
    • CD47
    • Cancer stem cells
    • Human lung cancer
    • Therapeutic agent

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology

    Cite this

    Liu, L., Zhang, L., Yang, L., Li, H., Li, R., Yu, J., Yang, L., Wei, F., Yan, C., Sun, Q., Zhao, H., Yang, F., Jin, H., Wang, J., Wang, S. E., & Ren, X. (2017). Anti-CD47 antibody as a targeted therapeutic agent for human lung cancer and cancer stem cells. Frontiers in immunology, 8(APR), [404].