Although the immune checkpoint function of PD-L1 has dominated its study, we report that PD-L1 has an unanticipated intrinsic function in promoting the dynamics of persistent cell migration. PD-L1 concentrates at the rear of migrating carcinoma cells where it facilitates retraction, resulting in the formation of PD-L1–containing retraction fibers and migrasomes. PD-L1 promotes retraction by interacting with and localizing the β4 integrin to the rear enabling this integrin to stimulate contractility. This mechanism involves the ability of PD-L1 to maintain cell polarity and lower membrane tension at the cell rear compared with the leading edge that promotes the localized interaction of PD-L1 and the β4 integrin. This interaction enables the β4 integrin to engage the actin cytoskeleton and promote RhoA-mediated contractility. The implications of these findings with respect to cell-autonomous functions of PD-L1 and cancer biology are significant.

This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at
You do not currently have access to this content.