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Scand J Immunol. 1999 May;49(5):459-65.

Direct binding of purified HLA class I antigens by soluble NKG2/CD94 C-type lectins from natural killer cells.

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Division of Clinical Immunology, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden.


Human natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity is inhibited following human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class I binding by killer cell inhibitory receptors belonging to the immunoglobulin or C-type lectin protein families. Of the latter family, CD94 and NKG2A or -B associate to inhibit NK cell cytotoxicity. We have constructed C-Myc epitope-tagged soluble NKG2A, -B, -C, -D and human NKR-P1 lectin domains, and studied their ability to associate with Flu-tagged soluble CD94 lectin domains. Furthermore, their ability to bind solubilized immunoaffinity-purified HLA class I antigens, either alone or following association with CD94 lectin domains, was evaluated using flow cytometry and Western blot analyses. We show that soluble NKG2A, -B and -C lectin domains interact with CD94 lectin domains to form complexes, whereas NKG2D and human NKR-P1 lectin domains do not. Soluble NKG2C, -D and CD94 lectin domains bind solubilized affinity purified HLA class I antigens on their own, whereas NKG2A and -B require association with CD94 lectin domains for binding. Soluble human NKR-P1 lectin domains do not bind solubilized HLA class I antigens in our system.

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