Collagens are a primary component of the extracellular matrix and are functional ligands for the inhibitory immune receptor leukocyte-associated immunoglobulin-like receptor (LAIR)-1. LAIR-2 is a secreted protein that can act as a decoy receptor by binding collagen with higher affinity than LAIR-1. We propose that collagens promote immune evasion by interacting with LAIR-1 expressed on immune cells, and that LAIR-2 releases LAIR-1-mediated immune suppression. Analysis of public human datasets shows that collagens, LAIR-1 and LAIR-2 have unique and overlapping associations with survival in certain tumors. We designed a dimeric LAIR-2 with a functional IgG1 Fc tail, NC410, and showed that NC410 increases human T cell expansion and effector function in vivo in a mouse xenogeneic-graft versus-host disease model. In humanized mouse tumor models, NC410 reduces tumor growth that is dependent on T cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of human tumors shows that NC410 binds to collagen-rich areas where LAIR-1+ immune cells are localized. Our findings show that NC410 might be a novel strategy for cancer immunotherapy for immune-excluded tumors.

Keywords: LAIR1; cancer biology; collagen; mouse; tumor.

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