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Immunity. 1996 Dec;5(6):629-38.

Sequential involvement of Lck and SHP-1 with MHC-recognizing receptors on NK cells inhibits FcR-initiated tyrosine kinase activation.

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Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Recognition of major histocompatibility (MHC) class I complexes on target cells by killer cell inhibitory receptors (KIR) blocks natural killer (NK) and T cell cytotoxic function. The inhibitory effect of KIR ligation requires the phosphotyrosine-dependent association of KIR with the cytoplasmic SH2-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1. Using a somatic genetic model, we first define a requirement for the Src family protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) Lck in mediating KIR tyrosine phosphorylation. We then investigate how KIR ligation interrupts PTK-dependent NK cell activation signals. Specifically, we show that KIR ligation inhibits the Fc receptor (FcR)-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the FcR-associated zeta signaling chain, the PTK ZAP-70, and phospholipase C gamma. Overexpression of catalytically inactive SHP-1 (acting as a dominant negative) restores the tyrosine phosphorylation of these signaling events and reverses KIR-mediated inhibition of NK cell cytotoxic function. These results suggest sequential roles for Lck and SHP-1 in the inhibition of PTK following MHC recognition by NK cells.

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