Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes that lack antigen-specific rearranged receptors, a hallmark of adaptive lymphocytes. In some people infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), an NK cell subset expressing the activating receptor NKG2C undergoes clonal-like expansion that partially resembles anti-viral adaptive responses. However, the viral ligand that drives the activation and differentiation of adaptive NKG2C+NK cells has remained unclear. Here we found that adaptive NKG2C+NK cells differentially recognized distinct HCMV strains encoding variable UL40 peptides that, in combination with pro-inflammatory signals, controlled the population expansion and differentiation of adaptive NKG2C+NK cells. Thus, we propose that polymorphic HCMV peptides contribute to shaping of the heterogeneity of adaptive NKG2C+NK cell populations among HCMV-seropositive people.

Peptide-specific recognition of human cytomegalovirus strains controls adaptive natural killer cells

Pietra, Gabriella;Romagnani, Chiara
2018

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes that lack antigen-specific rearranged receptors, a hallmark of adaptive lymphocytes. In some people infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), an NK cell subset expressing the activating receptor NKG2C undergoes clonal-like expansion that partially resembles anti-viral adaptive responses. However, the viral ligand that drives the activation and differentiation of adaptive NKG2C+NK cells has remained unclear. Here we found that adaptive NKG2C+NK cells differentially recognized distinct HCMV strains encoding variable UL40 peptides that, in combination with pro-inflammatory signals, controlled the population expansion and differentiation of adaptive NKG2C+NK cells. Thus, we propose that polymorphic HCMV peptides contribute to shaping of the heterogeneity of adaptive NKG2C+NK cell populations among HCMV-seropositive people.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/917443
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