Cutting edge: murine UL16-binding protein-like transcript 1: a newly described transcript encoding a high-affinity ligand for murine NKG2D

J Immunol. 2002 Oct 15;169(8):4079-83. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.169.8.4079.


Murine NKG2D is known to recognize H60 and five RAE1 variants. The human homologue recognizes both inducible MHC class I chain-related gene and constitutive (UL16-binding protein (ULBP)) ligands. Widely expressed, the latter are thought to mark transformed or infected cells for destruction by NK cells in the context of down-regulated cell surface class I (i.e., the "missing self"-response). Unlike MIC and ULBP however, mRNA for the murine ligands appears only in very limited contexts in the mature animal. In this study, we describe a NKG2D ligand termed "murine ULBP-like transcript 1 (MULT1) whose mRNA appears to be widely expressed in adult parenchyma. This molecule possesses MHC class I-like alpha1 and alpha2 domains as well as a large cytoplasmic domain. Recombinant MULT1 binds NKG2D with relatively high affinity (K(D) approximately 6 nM) and low k(off) (approximately 0.006s(-1)). Expression of MULT1 by normally resistant RMA cells results in their susceptibility to lysis by C57BL/6 splenocytes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / biosynthesis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / physiology
  • Ligands
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K
  • Protein Binding / immunology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA, Messenger / isolation & purification
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • KLRK1 protein, human
  • Klrk1 protein, mouse
  • Ligands
  • Membrane Proteins
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell
  • UL16 binding protein 1, mouse