Genomics and diversity of the common marmoset monkey NK complex.
ABSTRACT The common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) is a New World primate that is increasingly used in biomedical research as a model organism. Due to the occurrence of natural bone marrow chimerism, it represents a particularly useful primate model in immunological research. In this study, we describe the genomic organization of the CD94, NKG2, and LY49L genes in the NK complex (NKC) of the common marmoset based on complete sequencing of a bacterial artificial chromosome clonal contig. This region of the marmoset NKC is 1.5 times smaller than its human counterpart, but the genes are colinear and orthologous. One exception is the activating NKG2CE gene, which is probably an ancestral form of the NKG2C- and NKG2E-activating receptor genes of humans and great apes. The two completely sequenced marmoset bacterial artificial chromosome clones are derived from distinct haplotypes, which differ by 200 sites in the overlapping sequence. Analyses of NKC genes in nine additional marmoset individuals revealed a moderate degree of polymorphism of the CD94, NKG2A, NKG2CE, and NKG2D genes. Furthermore, expression analyses identified several alternatively spliced transcripts, particularly of the CD94 gene. Several products of alternative splicing of NKC genes are highly conserved among primates. Alternative transcriptional start sites were found, but these probably do not lead to a change of the translational start site or result in longer or shorter cytoplasmic regions of these type II membrane receptors.
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ABSTRACT: Although natural killer (NK) cells are defined as a component of the innate immune system, they exhibit certain features generally considered characteristic of the adaptive immune system. NK cells also participate directly in adaptive immune responses, mainly by interacting with dendritic cells. Such interactions can positively or negatively regulate dendritic cell activity. Reciprocally, dendritic cells regulate NK cell function. In addition, 'NK receptors' are frequently expressed by T cells and can directly regulate the functions of these cells. In these distinct ways, NK cells and their receptors influence the adaptive immune response.Nature Immunology 11/2004; 5(10):996-1002. · 26.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Natural killer cells are part of the first line of innate immune defence against virus-infected cells and cancer cells in the vertebrate immune system. They are called 'natural' killers because, unlike cytotoxic T cells, they do not require a previous challenge and preactivation to become active. The Ly49 NK receptors are type II transmembrane glycoproteins, structurally characterized as disulphide-linked homodimers. They share extensive homology with C-type lectins, and they are encoded by a multigene family that in mice maps on chromosome 6. A fine balance between inhibitory and activating signals regulates the function of NK cells. Inhibitory Ly49 molecules bind primarily MHC class I ligands, whereas the ligands for activating Ly49 molecules may include MHC class I, but also interestingly MHC class I-like molecules expressed by viruses, as is the case for Ly49H, which binds the m157 gene product of murine cytomegalovirus. In this study, we review the function and X-ray crystal structure of the Ly49 NK cell receptors hitherto determined (Ly49A, Ly49C and Ly49I), and the structural features of the Ly49/MHC class I interaction as revealed by the X-ray crystal structures of Ly49A/H-2Dd and the recently determined Ly49C/H-2Kb.Immunology and Cell Biology 03/2005; 83(1):1-8. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The presence and expression of killer inhibitory receptor (KIR) and CD94:NKG2 genes from 68 donors were analyzed using molecular typing techniques. The genes encoding CD94:NKG2 receptors were present in each person, but KIR gene possession varied. Most individuals expressed inhibitory KIR for the three well-defined HLA-B and -C ligands, but noninhibitory KIR genes were more variable. Twenty different KIR phenotypes were defined. Two groups of KIR haplotypes were distinguished and occurred at relatively even frequency. Group A KIR haplotypes consist of six genes: the main inhibitory KIR, one noninhibitory KIR, and a structurally divergent KIR. Allelic polymorphism within five KIR genes was detected. Group B comprises more noninhibitory KIR genes and contains at least one additional gene not represented in group A. The KIR locus therefore appears to be polygenic and polymorphic within the human population.Immunity 01/1998; 7(6):753-63. · 19.80 Impact Factor