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Nat Immunol. 2009 Sep;10(9):973-80. doi: 10.1038/ni.1763. Epub 2009 Aug 2.

Essential function for SAP family adaptors in the surveillance of hematopoietic cells by natural killer cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Clinical Research Institute of Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


The adaptors SAP, EAT-2 and ERT are specific to cells of the immune system and belong to the SAP family. All three are expressed in natural killer (NK) cells. Here we examined the global function of the SAP family using mice lacking SAP, EAT-2 and ERT. These adaptors acted together in a mechanism that was essential for the elimination of hematopoietic but not nonhematopoietic cells by NK cells. This function was mediated by many receptors of the SLAM family on NK cells that were engaged by ligands found solely on hematopoietic cells. In the absence of SAP-related adaptors, SLAM receptors lost their activating function and became inhibitory receptors that repressed other activating receptors, such as NKG2D. Hence, the SAP family is essential for the elimination of unwanted hematopoietic cells by NK cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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