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Science. 2013 Jul 12;341(6142):186-91. doi: 10.1126/science.1240094.

Mg2+ regulates cytotoxic functions of NK and CD8 T cells in chronic EBV infection through NKG2D.

Author information

1
Molecular Development of the Immune System Section, Lymphocyte Molecular Genetics Unit, Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Abstract

The magnesium transporter 1 (MAGT1) is a critical regulator of basal intracellular free magnesium (Mg(2+)) concentrations. Individuals with genetic deficiencies in MAGT1 have high levels of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and a predisposition to lymphoma. We show that decreased intracellular free Mg(2+) causes defective expression of the natural killer activating receptor NKG2D in natural killer (NK) and CD8(+) T cells and impairs cytolytic responses against EBV. Notably, magnesium supplementation in MAGT1-deficient patients restores intracellular free Mg(2+) and NKG2D while concurrently reducing EBV-infected cells in vivo, demonstrating a link between NKG2D cytolytic activity and EBV antiviral immunity in humans. Moreover, these findings reveal a specific molecular function of free basal intracellular Mg(2+) in eukaryotic cells.

PMID:
23846901
PMCID:
PMC3894782
DOI:
10.1126/science.1240094
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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