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J Immunol. 2000 Jun 1;164(11):5797-804.

KIR2DL5, a novel killer-cell receptor with a D0-D2 configuration of Ig-like domains.

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Departments of Structural Biology and Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Four novel killer-cell Ig-like receptor (KIR) genes were discovered by analysis of genomic DNA from a human donor. One gene, KIR2DL5, is expressed by subpopulations of NK cells and T cells, whereas expression of the other three genes could not be detected. KIR2DL5 has two extracellular Ig-like domains of the D0 and D2 type, a structural configuration that was previously unique to KIR2DL4. Although having a similar structure overall, the KIR2DL4 and KIR2DL5 receptors have distinctive amino acid sequences in the ligand-binding extracellular domains and differ in the transmembrane and cytoplasmic motifs that determine signal transduction. Whereas the KIR2DL4 gene is present on all KIR haplotypes and is expressed by all human NK cells, the KIR2DL5 gene is restricted to the "B" subset of KIR haplotypes and is clonally expressed by NK cells within an individual. Chimpanzee genes for KIR2DL4 and KIR2DL5 have been defined and are very similar in sequence to their human orthologs. The donor in whom KIR2DL5 was first detected bears two variants of it that differ by five nucleotide substitutions in the coding region. Although the substitutions are not predicted to affect gene expression, transcription of only one of the two KIR2DL5 variants could be detected.

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