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Eur J Immunol. 2000 Oct;30(10):2842-8.

Mitogen-activated protein kinase activity is involved in effector functions triggered by the CD94/NKG2-C NK receptor specific for HLA-E.

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Servicio de Inmunología, Hospital de la Princesa, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


The CD94/NKG2C heterodimer constitutes an activating receptor involved in NK cell-mediated recognition of the class lb molecule HLA-E. It transduces the triggering signal through an ITAM-bearing molecule, DAP12/KARAP, coupled non-covalently to the receptor. Here we show that specific engagement of the receptor complex expressed on the surface of an NK clone induced the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). By the use of the MEK inhibitor PD098059 we demonstrate that the MAPK pathway participates in the CD94-dependent TNF-alpha production and cytotoxicity. Moreover, we transferred the activating function by transfection of the heterologous RBL cell line with CD94/NKG2-C/DAP12. In this system, cross-linking of the receptor induced calcium mobilization, serotonin release and phosphorylation of MAPK.

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