Expression of stress-induced MHC class I related chain molecules on human melanoma

J Invest Dermatol. 2002 Apr;118(4):600-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2002.01700.x.


Cellular immune responses to melanoma are tightly regulated and include specific T cell responses to self antigens such as Mart-1 and gp100. Thus, additional signals apart from those mediated by the T cell receptor are needed to ensure T cell activation. Recently, the stress inducible major histocompatibility complex molecules, MHC class I related chain, were identified as an activator of both natural killer and T cells via interaction with their receptor NKG2D. Herein, we report the expression of MIC in 31 of 40 primary cutaneous melanomas and in 13 of 20 metastatic lesions. Moreover, lymphocytes infiltrating the tumor were found to express NKG2D. Detailed analysis identified both CD3+ T cells as well as CD56+ natural killer cells contributing to this NKG2D+ tumor infiltrating lymphocyte population present.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clone Cells
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / analysis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Killer Cells, Natural / chemistry
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism
  • Male
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Melanoma / metabolism
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Middle Aged
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K
  • Receptors, Immunologic / analysis
  • Receptors, Immunologic / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / secondary
  • Stress, Physiological / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • KLRK1 protein, human
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell