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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
IF: 1.352 5-Year IF: 3.347 SJR: 1.022 SNIP: 0.55 CiteScore™: 2.19

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v17.i3-4.20
pages 285-299

Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Class I Recognition by Natural Killer Cells

Christian Dohring
Basel Institute for Immunology, Basel CH-4005, Switzerland
Marco Colonna
Basel Institute for Immunology, Basel CH-4005, Switzerland

ABSTRACT

NK cells express clonally distributed receptors specific for MHC class I molecules. Structurally, these receptors belong to the C-type lectin superfamily in mouse and to the immunoglobulin superfamily in human. Functionally, they can be distinguished as inhibitory or stimulatory. Inhibitory receptors block NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity upon binding to HLA class I ligands. This function is mediated by phosphorylation of cytoplasmic tyrosines, which recruit the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1. Stimulatory receptors also bind HLA class I, lack cytoplasmic tyrosine-based motifs, and trigger NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity. All these receptors are characterized by a limited diversity allowing for sensitive detection of loss of MHC class I molecules on autologous transformed and virally infected cells.


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