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Direct Recognition of Cytomegalovirus by Activating and Inhibitory NK Cell Receptors

Science  17 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5571, pp. 1323-1326
DOI: 10.1126/science.1070884

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Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells express inhibitory receptors for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I antigens, preventing attack against healthy cells. Mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) encodes an MHC-like protein (m157) that binds to an inhibitory NK cell receptor in certain MCMV-susceptible mice. In MCMV-resistant mice, this viral protein engages a related activating receptor (Ly49H) and confers host protection. These activating and inhibitory receptors are highly homologous, suggesting the possibility that one evolved from the other in response to selective pressure imposed by the pathogen.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: lanier{at}itsa.ucsf.edu

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