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J Immunol. 2005 Dec 15;175(12):7791-5.

Cutting edge: lectin-like transcript 1 is a ligand for the CD161 receptor.

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  • 1Institut de Pharmacologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis Unité Mixte de Recherche 6097, Sophia Antipolis, France.


Human NK cells and subsets of T cells or NKT cells express the orphan C-type lectin receptor CD161 (NKR-P1A) of unknown function. In contrast to rodents that possess several NKR-P1 genes coding for either activating or inhibitory receptors, the nature of signals delivered by the single human NKR-P1A receptor is still to be clarified. In this article, we show that the lectin-like transcript 1 (LLT1) molecule is a ligand for the CD161 receptor. Engagement of CD161 on NK cells with LLT1 expressed on target cells inhibited NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity and IFN-gamma secretion. Conversely, LLT1/CD161 interaction in the presence of a TCR signal enhanced IFN-gamma production by T cells. These findings identify a novel ligand/receptor pair that differentially regulate NK and T cell functions.

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