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J Exp Med. 1998 Oct 5;188(7):1267-75.

Integrin-mediated ras-extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) signaling regulates interferon gamma production in human natural killer cells.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Medicine and Pathology, Istituto Pasteur-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, University of Rome "La Sapienza", 00161 Rome, Italy.


Recent evidence indicates that integrin engagement results in the activation of biochemical signaling events important for regulating different cell functions, such as migration, adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and specific gene expression. Here, we report that beta1 integrin ligation on human natural killer (NK) cells results in the activation of Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Formation of Shc-growth factor receptor-bound protein 2 (Grb2) and Shc-proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2-Grb2 complexes are the receptor-proximal events accompanying the beta1 integrin-mediated Ras activation. In addition, we demonstrate that ligation of beta1 integrins results in the stimulation of interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) production, which is under the control of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 activation. Overall, our data indicate that beta1 integrins, by delivering signals capable of triggering IFN-gamma production, may function as NK-activating receptors.

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