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J Immunol. 1997 Jun 1;158(11):5083-6.

Human killer cell activatory receptors for MHC class I molecules are included in a multimeric complex expressed by natural killer cells.

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  • 1Center for Immunology, INSERM/CNRS of Marseille-Luminy, Marseille, France.


Engagement of killer cell inhibitory receptors (KIRs) with their MHC class I ligands inhibits T and NK lymphocyte activation. In humans, killer cell activatory receptors (KARs) are highly homologous to KIRs, interact with an identical set of MHC class I molecules, and are encoded by individual genes belonging to the Ig-like superfamily. In contrast to KIRs, engagement of KARs leads to T and NK cell activation. We identified a set of disulfide-linked dimers selectively associated with KARs. KAR-associated polypeptides (KARAPs) are phosphorylated on tyrosine and serine residues. Reconstitution of KAR cell surface expression in the absence of KARAPs correlates with the failure of KAR to transduce any detectable activation signals. These results indicate that KARs are included in a multimeric complex with phosphorylated KARAPs and define a novel set of polypeptides that are likely to be involved in the control of lymphocyte activation upon MHC class I recognition.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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