On guard--activating NK cell receptors

Nat Immunol. 2001 Jan;2(1):23-7. doi: 10.1038/83130.


Although natural killer (NK) cells are known to preferentially kill cells that lack major histocompatibility complex class I antigens, we do not know what signals the attack of these targets. Several membrane receptors have recently been implicated in this process and include molecules with immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAM) and motifs that bind phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K). Evidence is emerging that NK cells may use a combination of several receptors and signaling pathways to protect the host against infection and possibly against malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD28 Antigens / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Associated Protein


  • CD28 Antigens
  • Carrier Proteins
  • HCST protein, human
  • Hcst protein, mouse
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • SH2D1A protein, human
  • Sh2d1a protein, mouse
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Associated Protein
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases