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Immunity. 1998 Jun;8(6):693-701.

Association of DAP12 with activating CD94/NKG2C NK cell receptors.

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DNAX Research Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunobiology Department, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA.


While the inhibitory NK cell receptors for MHC class I express immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs that recruit intracellular tyrosine phosphatases and prevent NK cell effector function, the activating NK cell receptors lack intrinsic sequences required for cellular stimulation. CD94/NKG2C, an activating NK cell receptor of the C-type lectin superfamily that binds to HLA-E, noncovalently associates with DAP12, a membrane receptor containing an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activating motif. Efficient expression of CD94/NKG2C on the cell surface requires the presence of DAP12, and charged residues in the transmembrane domains of DAP12 and NKG2C are necessary for this interaction. These results provide a molecular basis for the assembly of NK cell receptors for MHC class I involved in cellular activation and inhibition.

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