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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Jan 23; 93(2): 685–689.

Characterization of GMP-17, a granule membrane protein that moves to the plasma membrane of natural killer cells following target cell recognition.


Cytotoxic lymphocytes are characterized by their inclusion of cytoplasmic granules that fuse with the plasma membrane following target cell recognition. We previously identified a cytotoxic granule membrane protein designated p15-TIA-1 that is immunochemically related to an RNA-recognition motif (RRM)-type RNA-binding protein designated p40-TIA-1. Although it was suggested that p15-TIA-1 might be derived from p40-T1A-1 by proteolysis, N-terminal amino acid sequencing of p15-TIA-1 immunoaffinity purified from a natural killer (NK) cell line by using monoclonal antibody (mAb) 2G9 revealed that p15-T1A-1 is identical to the deduced amino acid sequence of NKG7 and GIG-1, cDNAs isolated from NK cells and granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor-treated mononuclear cells, respectively. Epitope mapping revealed that mAb 2G9 recognizes the C terminus of p15-T1A-1 and p40-T1A-1. The deduced amino acid sequence of p15-T1A-1/NKG7/GIG-1 predicts that the protein possesses four transmembrane domains, and immuno-electron microscopy localizes the endogenous protein to the membranes of cytotoxic granules in NK cells. Given its subcellular localization, we propose to rename-this protein GMP-17, for granule membrane protein of 17 kDa. Immunofluorescence microscopy of freshly isolated NK cells confirms this granular localization. Target cell-induced NK cell degranulation results in translocation of GMP-17 from granules to the plasma membrane, suggesting a possible role for GMP-17 in regulating the effector function of lymphocytes and neutrophils.

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