CD160: A unique activating NK cell receptor

Philippe Le Bouteiller, Julie Tabiasco, Beata Polgar, Noemi Kozma, Jérôme Giustiniani, Johan Siewiera, Alain Berrebi, Maryse Aguerre-Girr, Armand Bensussan, Nabila Jabrane-Ferrat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

37 Citations (Scopus)


Here we discuss CD160 an essential NK cell activating receptor that remains poorly understood. CD160 receptor exhibits a number of unique structural and functional characteristics that are not common to other killer immunoglobulin-like receptors that recognize major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules: (1) In addition to humans and mice, the cd160 gene is conserved in several other mammal species; (2) cd160 is located outside the NK gene complex and the Leukocyte Receptor Complex in humans; (3) CD160 expression is associated to the CD56 dim CD16 + cytotoxic NK cell phenotype; (4) both human and mouse CD160 recognize MHC class Ia and Ib molecules; (5) unlike the other MHC class I-dependent activating NK receptors, CD160 is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored molecule with a single immunoglobulin-like domain, and does not bear immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs. Consequently, CD160 cannot signal by itself, requiring the recruitment of adaptor proteins. CD160 recruits phosphoinositide-3 kinase to trigger cytotoxicity and cytokine secretion; (6) specific engagement of NK CD160 receptor expressed by circulating NK cells produces proinflammatory cytokines IFN-γ, TNF-α, and, most notably, IL-6 and IL-8 as well as MIP1-β chemokine. The level of CD160-mediated IFN-γ production is always higher than the one observed after engagement of the CD16 receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-96
Number of pages4
JournalImmunology letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 30 2011



  • CD160
  • Cell killing
  • Cytokines
  • NK cell
  • NK cell receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

Le Bouteiller, P., Tabiasco, J., Polgar, B., Kozma, N., Giustiniani, J., Siewiera, J., Berrebi, A., Aguerre-Girr, M., Bensussan, A., & Jabrane-Ferrat, N. (2011). CD160: A unique activating NK cell receptor. Immunology letters, 138(2), 93-96.