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After accumulation of target cell human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-C at inhibitory natural killer (NK) cell immune synapses, some HLA-C transfers from target cells to NK cell plasma membranes and cytoplasm. This unexpected intercellular transfer of HLA-C is dependent on NK receptor recognition, since HLA-Cw6 or -Cw4 but not -Cw3 transfer to an NK transfectant expressing killer Ig-like receptor (KIR)2DL1. Strikingly, live-cell time-lapse laser scanning confocal microscopy shows vesicles containing target cell green fluorescent protein-tagged HLA-C migrating away from immune synapses into NK cells. Unlike clustering of HLA-C at the immune synapse, intercellular transfer of HLA-C is dependent on NK cell ATP, but not target cell ATP. However, the intercellular transfer of HLA-C is not dependent on active polymerization of the actin cytoskeleton. In addition, different arrangements of HLA-C are seen at inhibitory NK immune synapses, and these alter as NK synapses mature, but in a fashion distinct from that seen upon T cell activation.

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Exp Med

Publication Date

19/11/2001

Volume

194

Pages

1507 - 1517

Keywords

Adenosine Triphosphate, Biological Transport, Cell Line, Cytoskeleton, HLA-C Antigens, Humans, Killer Cells, Natural, Receptors, Immunologic, Receptors, KIR2DL1, Synapses