Ly49-dependent NK cell licensing and effector inhibition involve the same interaction site on MHC ligands.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

NK cells become functionally competent to be triggered by their activation receptors through the interaction of NK cell inhibitory receptors with their cognate self-MHC ligands, an MHC-dependent educational process termed "licensing." For example, Ly49A(+) NK cells become licensed by the interaction of the Ly49A inhibitory receptor with its MHC class I ligand, H2D(d), whereas Ly49C(+) NK cells are licensed by H2K(b). Structural studies indicate that the Ly49A inhibitory receptor may interact with two sites, termed site 1 and site 2, on its H2D(d) ligand. Site 2 encompasses the α1/α2/α3 domains of the H2D(d) H chain and β(2)-microglobulin (β2m) and is the functional binding site for Ly49A in effector inhibition. Ly49C functionally interacts with a similar site in H2K(b). However, it is currently unknown whether this same site is involved in Ly49A- or Ly49C-dependent licensing. In this study, we produced transgenic C57BL/6 mice expressing wild-type or site 2 mutant H2D(d) molecules and studied whether Ly49A(+) NK cells are licensed. We also investigated Ly49A- and Ly49C-dependent NK licensing in murine β2m-deficient mice that are transgenic for human β2m, which has species-specific amino acid substitutions in β2m. Our data from these transgenic mice indicate that site 2 on self-MHC is critical for Ly49A- and Ly49C-dependent NK cell licensing. Thus, NK cell licensing through Ly49 involves specific interactions with its MHC ligand that are similar to those involved in effector inhibition.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Choi, T; Ferris, ST; Matsumoto, N; Poursine-Laurent, J; Yokoyama, WM

Published Date

  • April 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 186 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 3911 - 3917

PubMed ID

  • 21335486

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3082152

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1550-6606

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4049/jimmunol.1004168


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States