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Immunity. 1997 Aug;7(2):273-82.

A novel immunoglobulin superfamily receptor for cellular and viral MHC class I molecules.

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  • 1Immunex Corporation, Seattle, Washington 98101, USA.


The human cytomegalovirus UL18 gene product is a homolog of cellular major histocompatibility (MHC) class I antigens. UL18 has been proposed to protect virus-infected cells against natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity by engaging NK cell killer inhibitory receptors (KIR) for MHC class I. UL18 binds to a novel immunoglobulin superfamily glycoprotein, designated Leukocyte Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (LIR-1). This protein is distinct from, but related to, known KIRs and binds cellular MHC class I antigens. The cytoplasmic domain of LIR-1 contains four putative immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs. Upon tyrosine phosphorylation, LIR-1 associates with the tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1. In contrast to KIRs, LIR-1 is expressed predominantly on monocytic and B lymphoid cell types, suggesting a distinct biological function.

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