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The PD-1 ligands PD-L1 and PD-L2 are commonly expressed on the surface of cells, where they regulate immune system activation. However, the specific role played by each ligand has been unclear. Using site-directed mutagenesis, surface plasmon resonance, and crystallography, Philips et al. explore the distinct features of PD-L2 and identify a specific evolutionary event linked to its appearance. This work provides a deeper understanding of how the immune system adapted to mammalian placental gestation and could be an important consideration in the development of new immune checkpoint therapies.

Original publication





Publication Date





4381 - 4382


Animals, B7-H1 Antigen, Eutheria, Female, Ligands, Pregnancy, Programmed Cell Death 1 Ligand 2 Protein