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J Biol Chem. 2005 Jun 24;280(25):24277-85. Epub 2005 Apr 29.

Distinct transcriptional control mechanisms of killer immunoglobulin-like receptors in natural killer (NK) and in T cells.

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1
Department of Medicine, Lowance Center for Human Immunology, Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

Abstract

Killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) are expressed by natural killer (NK) cells and by subsets of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, which are therefore thought to be subject to similar regulatory mechanisms. Here, we show that the transcriptional machinery to express KIR is limited to NK and T cells; however, the KIR transcriptional control differs between these two types of lymphocytes. T cells selectively express transcriptional activators binding to positions -52 to -61 of the KIR promoter, whereas an AML site around position-98 is relevant for transcription in NK cells. Although KIR expression is restricted to subsets of memory T cells, our studies demonstrate that transcriptional activators for KIRs are not acquired during T cell differentiation but are already present in naïve T cells, suggesting a basic role of KIRs in T cell biology. We suggest that the regulated expression of KIRs in T cells profoundly influences peripheral tolerance and antigen-specific immune responses.

PMID:
15863493
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.M500727200
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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