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Blood. 2010 Apr 22;115(16):3278-86. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-09-243493. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Promoter choice and translational repression determine cell type-specific cell surface density of the inhibitory receptor CD85j expressed on different hematopoietic lineages.

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Kathleen B. and Mason I. Lowance Center for Human Immunology and Rheumatology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.


CD85j (ILT2/LILRB1/LIR-1) is an inhibitory receptor that recognizes major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class Ia and Ib alleles that are widely expressed on all cell types. On ligand recognition, CD85j diminishes kinase activity by recruiting phosphatases to motifs within its cytoplasmic domain. Within the hematopoietic system, CD85j is expressed with cell-specific patterns and cell surface densities that reflect the different roles of cell contact-mediated inhibition in these lineages. While monocytes ubiquitously have high cell surface expression, B lymphocytes start to express CD85j at intermediate levels during early B-cell maturation and natural killer (NK) cells and T cells exhibit a low level of expression on only a subset of cells. The cell-specific expression pattern is accomplished by 2 complementing but not independent mechanisms. Lymphocytes and monocytes use distinct promoters to drive CD85j expression. The lymphocyte promoter maps 13 kilobases (kb) upstream of the monocyte promoter; its use results in the inclusion of a distant exon into the 5'-untranslated region. A short sequence stretch within this exon has the unique function of repressing CD85j protein translation and is responsible for the subdued expression in lymphocytes. These cell-specific mechanisms allow tailoring of CD85j levels to the distinct roles it plays in different hematopoietic lineages.

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