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

T cell receptor gene rearrangements in cells with natural killer activity in the mouse.

Cell-mediated recognition can operate at different levels of complexity and specificity based largely on the time of appearance of effector mechanisms during the course of evolution. Antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes require both T cell receptor genes and lectin-like cell adhesion molecules (LFA-1, LFA-2, lymphocyte function-associated) to initiate and maintain stable effector target cell conjugates. Natural killer (NK) cells, on the other hand, do not require expression of T cell receptor genes in the recognition and killing of tumor cells and virally infected cells. Adhesion is mediated by a family of glycoprotein molecules, of which the LFA-1 and LFA-2 molecules appear as the most likely candidates. NK-mediated cytolysis proceeds in the absence of MHC restriction, but nevertheless appears to be triggered by depressed levels of self MHC products on the cell surface of target cells. Finally, interleukin 2-dependent, cloned cell lines with NK-like cytotoxic activity should no longer be considered as bona-fide NK cells but rather reclassified as a subset of T cells which displays NK function.[1]


  1. T cell receptor gene rearrangements in cells with natural killer activity in the mouse. Lauzon, R.J., Siminovitch, K.A., Roder, J.C. Immunol. Res. (1986) [Pubmed]
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