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Immunity. 2000 Sep;13(3):355-64.

Combined natural killer cell and dendritic cell functional deficiency in KARAP/DAP12 loss-of-function mutant mice.

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Centre d'Immunologie INSERM/CNRS de Marseille-Luminy, France.


KARAP/DAP12 is a transmembrane polypeptide with an intracytoplasmic immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM). KARAP/DAP12 is associated with several activating cell surface receptors in hematopoietic cells. Here, we report that knockin mice bearing a nonfunctional KARAP/DAP12 ITAM present altered innate immune responses. Although in these mice NK cells are present and their repertoire of inhibitory MHC class I receptors is intact, the NK cell spectrum of natural cytotoxicity toward tumor cell targets is restricted. KARAP/DAP12 loss-of-function mutant mice also exhibit a dramatic accumulation of dendritic cells in muco-cutaneous epithelia, associated with an impaired hapten-specific contact sensitivity. Thus, despite its homology with CD3zeta and FcRgamma, KARAP/DAP12 plays a specific role in innate immunity, emphasizing the nonredundancy of these ITAM-bearing polypeptides in hematopoietic cells.

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