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Among the growing family of inhibitory receptors regulating immunity, sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin domain-containing lectins (Siglecs) have recently emerged as immunoregulatory receptors recognizing sialylated ligands on tumor cell surface. However, their role in the immunoregulation of bladder cancer (BCa) remains unknown. Here, we determined the presence of eight Siglec ligands (SLs) on bladder nontumor and tumor cell lines. S2L, S3L, and S6L were not expressed, and few bladder tumor cell lines expressed S5L and S14L. In contrast, S7L and S10L were upregulated on all bladder tumor cell lines. We found a discrepency in S9L expression by nontumor cell lines, which is however highly expressed by bladder tumor cell lines. Notably, expression of S5L, S6L, and S14L was increased upon bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infection. Furthermore, we analyzed the expression of Siglecs on T cells from healthy donors and BCa patients. Circulating T cells only expressed Siglec-6, which is upregulated in non-muscle-invasive BCa patients. In addition, BCG therapy induced the overexpression of Siglec-6 by urinary CD8+ T cells. In vitro functional assays suggested that Siglecs may decrease cytotoxic functions of effector CD8+ T cells. Finally, analyses from two BCa datasets (The Cancer Genome Atlas and UROMOL cohorts) showed that Siglec-6 is associated with tumor progression and poor survival. Our findings indicate that Siglec-6 might be a new target for BCa treatments. PATIENT SUMMARY: We investigated the expression of Siglecs, a family of immunoregulatory receptors, in bladder cancer patients. We observed that the expression of Siglec-6 is increased on circulating and urinary T cells of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients. We also showed that Siglec-6 is associated with lower survival in bladder cancer patients and might contribute to bladder cancer recurrence.

Original publication




Journal article


European urology focus

Publication Date





748 - 751


Department of Urology, Urology Research Unit, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.


CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Humans, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Lectins, Antigens, CD, Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic, BCG Vaccine, Urinary Bladder Neoplasms, Sialic Acid Binding Immunoglobulin-like Lectins