Approaches to Cloning and Identification of the Ligand for Natural Cytotoxicity Receptor NKp44




Horton, Nathan C.


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Horton, Nathan C., Approaches to Cloning and Identification of the Ligand for the Natural Cytotoxicity Receptor, NKp44. Masters of Science (Microbiology & Immunology), July 2008, 64 pp., 22 illustrations, 37 titles. Natural Killer (NK) cells represent a specialized lymphoid population that mediate innate immune responses against tumor or virally infected cells. NK cell cytotoxicity is regulated by inhibitory and activating receptors. Activating receptors include the Natural Cytotoxicity Receptors (NCRs), 2B4, and NKG2D. The NCRs play a key role in recognition and killing of tumor cells and include the receptors NKp30, NKp46, and NKp44. The ligands for the NCRs are not yet known. NKp44 is of particular interest because it is only expressed on activated NK cells, and is implicated in increased cytotoxicity and HIV infection. To identify and clone the ligand for NKp44, a recombinant fusion protein containing the extracellular domain of NKp44 was constructed and used to identify a cell line, DB, expressing a ligand for NKp44. A directional complimentary DNA (cDNA) library was constructed from this cell line and screened by mammalian expression cloning, resulting in the isolation of several putative cDNA clones of NKp44 ligands.