[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Innate immune recognition of virus-infected cells includes NK cell detection of changes to endogenous cell-surface proteins through inhibitory receptors. One such receptor system is the NK cell receptor protein-1B (NKR-P1B) and its ligand C-type lectin-related-b (Clr-b). NKR-P1B and Clr-b are encoded within the NK cell gene complex, a locus that has been linked to strain-dependent differences in susceptibility to infection by poxviruses. In this study, we report the impact of vaccinia virus (VV) and ectromelia virus infection on expression of Clr-b and Clr-b-mediated protection from NK cells. We observed a loss of Clr-b cell-surface protein upon VV and ectromelia virus infection of murine cell lines and bone marrow-derived macrophages. The reduction of Clr-b is more rapid than MHC class I, the prototypic ligand of NK cell inhibitory receptors. Reduction of Clr-b requires active viral infection but not expression of late viral genes, and loss of mRNA appears to lag behind loss of Clr-b surface protein. Clr-b-mediated protection from NK cells is lost following VV infection. Together, these results provide the second example of Clr-b modulation during viral infection and suggest reductions of Clr-b may be involved in sensitizing poxvirus-infected cells to NK cells.
The Journal of Immunology 04/2012; 188(10):4980-91. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Nkrp1 (Klrb) family of NK cell receptors and their genetically linked Clr (Clec2) ligands are conserved between rodents and humans. Nonetheless, certain mouse and rat Nkrp1 genes exhibit significant allelic polymorphism between inbred strains. We previously demonstrated that the Nkrp1-Clr recognition system is genetically and functionally conserved between the B6 and BALB/c strains, with focused sequence divergence evident in certain genes (e.g., Nkrp1b,c). Here, we extend this finding by mapping the 129-strain Nkrp1-Clr gene cluster, which is structurally conserved yet displays significant sequence divergence relative to the B6 haplotype. In addition, we show that 129-strain NK cells possess comparable Nkrp1 and Clr transcript expression, and characterize several NKR-P1:Clr interactions that are functionally conserved between the B6 and 129 strains, including documented and novel receptor-ligand pairs. Thus, despite significant allelic polymorphism observed in the Nkrp1-Clr region, the overall genetic organization and functional repertoire appear to be conserved among mouse strains, in contrast to the striking variation observed in the corresponding Ly49 region. These data extend our knowledge of the complex genetically linked Nkrp1-Clr NK recognition system in mice.