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Front Biosci. 2008 May 1;13:3448-56.

Soluble NKG2D ligands: prevalence, release, and functional impact.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, Eberhard-Karls-University, Tuebingen, Germany.


Natural Killer (NK) cells are capable to recognize and eliminate malignant cells. Anti-tumor responses of NK cells are promoted by the tumor-associated expression of cell stress-inducible ligands of the activating NK receptor NKG2D. Current evidence suggests that established tumors subvert NKG2D-mediated tumor immunosurveillance by releasing NKG2D ligands (NKG2DL). Release of NKG2DL has been observed in a broad variety of human tumor entities and is thought to interfere with NKG2D-mediated tumor immunity in several ways. Further, levels of soluble NKG2DL (sNKG2DL) were also found to be elevated under various non-malignant conditions, although the functional implications remain largely unclear. Here we review and discuss the available data on the prevalence, release, functional impact, and potential clinical value of sNKG2DL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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