Circulating human natural killer (NK) lymphocytes have been functionally defined by their ability to exert cytotoxic activity against MHC class 1-negative target cell lines, including K562. Therefore, it was proposed that NK cells recognized the "missing self." We show here that the Ig-like CD160 receptor expressed by circulating CD56áim+ NK cells or IL-2-deprived NK cell lines is mainly involved in their cytotoxic activity against K562 target cells. Further, we report that HLA-C molecules that are constitutively expressed by K562 trigger NK cell lysis through CD160 receptor engagement. In addition, we demonstrate, with recombinant soluble HLA-Cw3 and CD160 proteins, direct interaction of these molecules. We also find that CD158b inhibitory receptors partially interfere with CD160-mediated cytotoxicity, whereas CD94/CD159a and CD85j have no effect on engagement with their respective ligands. Thus, CD160/HLA-C interaction constitutes a unique pathway to trigger NK cell cytotoxic activity.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 24 2002|
- HLA class
- NK receptors
ASJC Scopus subject areas