CD69 represents a functional triggering molecule on activated NK and T cells, capable of inducing cytotoxic activity and costimulating cytokine production. It belongs to the C-lectin type superfamily, and its gene maps in the NK gene complex, close to other genes coding for NK receptors. CD94 / NKG2-A complex is the inhibitory receptor for the non classical MHC class I molecule HLA-E on human NK cells. To investigate CD69-initiated signal transduction pathways, and to evaluate CD94 / NKG2-A interference on CD69 triggering ability, we have generated transfectants expressing both receptors in the RBL cell line. Here we report that CD69 engagement leads to the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) enzymes belonging to the MAPK family, and that this event is required for CD69-mediated cell degranulation. Moreover, we show that the co-engagement of CD94 / NKG2-A inhibitory receptor effectively suppresses both CD69-triggered cell degranulation in RBL transfectants, through the inhibition of ERK activation, and CD69-induced cytotoxicity in human NK cells. Thus, here we provide new information on the molecular mechanisms initiated by CD69 activation receptor, and show that CD69-initiated signaling pathways and functional activity are negatively regulated by CD94 / NKG2-A inhibitory complex.