ABSTRACT: NK cells play a crucial role in innate immunity against tumors. In many human tumors, Ras is chronically active, and tumor cells frequently express ligands for the activating NK cell receptor NKG2D. In this study, we report that Ras activation upregulates the expression of Raet1 protein family members Rae1α and Rae1β in mouse and ULBP1-3 in human cells. In addition, Ras also induced MHC class I chain-related protein expression in some human cell lines. Overexpression of the constitutively active H-RasV12 mutant was sufficient to induce NKG2D ligand expression. H-RasV12-induced NKG2D ligand upregulation depended on Raf, MAPK/MEK, and PI3K, but not ATM or ATR, two PI3K-like kinases previously shown to induce NKG2D ligand expression. Analysis of the 5' untranslated regions of Raet1 family members suggested the presence of features known to impair translation initiation. Overexpression of the rate-limiting translation initiation factor eIF4E induced Rae1 and ULBP1 expression in a Ras- and PI3K-dependent manner. Upregulation of NKG2D ligands by H-RasV12 increased sensitivity of cells to NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In summary, our data suggest that chronic Ras activation is linked to innate immune responses, which may contribute to immune surveillance of H-Ras transformed cells.
The Journal of Immunology 07/2012; 189(4):1826-34. · 5.79 Impact Factor