Expression of regulator of G protein signalling proteins in natural killer cells, and their modulation by Ly49A and Ly49D

Immunology. 2005 Jul;115(3):358-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2005.02174.x.


The small GTPase accelerators regulator of G protein signalling (RGS) proteins are important regulators of proximal signalling from G protein coupled receptors. Although natural killer (NK) cells express a number of G-protein coupled receptors, expression of RGS proteins has not been investigated. We analysed the expression of RGS proteins in rat NK cells, and detected mRNA for RGS1, RGS2, RGS5, RGS8, RGS16, and RGS18. Interestingly, when we included a panel of different leucocyte subsets, we found that RGS8 was selectively expressed by NK cells. NK cells are under control of both activating and inhibitory receptors and, utilizing a xenogeneic system where the mouse activating Ly49D or inhibitory Ly49A receptors were transfected into the rat RNK-16 cell line, the potential regulation of RGS proteins by single NK cell receptors was studied. We found that ligation of Ly49D led to a rapid and transient increase in message for RGS2, while Ly49A ligation up-regulated RGS2, RGS16, and RGS18 mRNA. Both receptors also induced a prolonged increase in RGS2 endogenous protein levels. These findings suggest that RGS proteins may be influenced by or involved in NK cell receptor events, suggesting a crosstalk between G-protein coupled receptors and NK cell receptors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Ly / immunology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Mice
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily A
  • RGS Proteins / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Immunologic / immunology
  • Receptors, NK Cell Lectin-Like
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Up-Regulation / immunology


  • Antigens, Ly
  • Klra1 protein, mouse
  • Klra4 protein, mouse
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily A
  • RGS Proteins
  • RGS2 protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, NK Cell Lectin-Like