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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Activating Ly-49 NK receptors: central role in cytokine and chemokine production.

In an attempt to understand potential novel functions of receptors in vivo, we evaluated gene expression after cross-linking the activating Ly-49D mouse NK receptor. Gene expression was evaluated using a mouse GEM 2 microarray chip (Incyte Genomics, St. Louis, MO). Each chip displays a total of 8734 elements. The strongly induced genes fell into two categories: 1) soluble factors and 2) apoptotic genes. The majority of the strongly induced mRNAs as analyzed by microarray hybridization were chemokine genes. RNase protection assays and chemokine protein production analysis validated the microarray results, as cross-linking the Ly-49D mouse NK receptor induced high levels of IFN-gamma, lymphotactin, macrophage-inflammatory protein (MIP)1alpha, and MIP1beta. This gene expression was specific because other chemokines were not induced by anti-Ly-49D receptors. In addition, a series of pharmacological inhibitors were used to identify the key signaling pathways involved in the cellular response. The primary Ly-49D signaling for IFN-gamma production is predominantly mediated through Src kinase pathways involving membrane proximal events, whereas MIP1alpha and MIP1beta gene induction is more complex and may involve multiple biochemical pathways. Thus, we conclude that a primary role for the activating NK receptors in vivo may be to trigger soluble factor production and regulation of the immune response. This would place NK cells and their activating Ly-49 receptors as important initiators of microbial immunity and key elements of the innate immune system.[1]


  1. Activating Ly-49 NK receptors: central role in cytokine and chemokine production. Ortaldo, J.R., Bere, E.W., Hodge, D., Young, H.A. J. Immunol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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