Nkrp1 family, from lectins to protein interacting molecules

Molecules. 2015 Feb 17;20(2):3463-78. doi: 10.3390/molecules20023463.


The C-type lectin-like receptors include the Nkrp1 protein family that regulates the activity of natural killer (NK) cells. Rat Nkrp1a was reported to bind monosaccharide moieties in a Ca2+-dependent manner in preference order of GalNac > GlcNAc >> Fuc >> Gal > Man. These findings established for rat Nkrp1a have been extrapolated to all additional Nkrp1 receptors and have been supported by numerous studies over the past two decades. However, since 1996 there has been controversy and another article showed lack of interactions with saccharides in 1999. Nevertheless, several high affinity saccharide ligands were synthesized in order to utilize their potential in antitumor therapy. Subsequently, protein ligands were introduced as specific binders for Nkrp1 proteins and three dimensional models of receptor/protein ligand interaction were derived from crystallographic data. Finally, for at least some members of the NK cell C-type lectin-like proteins, the "sweet story" was impaired by two reports in recent years. It has been shown that the rat Nkrp1a and CD69 do not bind saccharide ligands such as GlcNAc, GalNAc, chitotetraose and saccharide derivatives (GlcNAc-PAMAM) do not directly and specifically influence cytotoxic activity of NK cells as it was previously described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD* / chemistry
  • Antigens, CD* / immunology
  • Antigens, CD* / metabolism
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte* / chemistry
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte* / immunology
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural* / chemistry
  • Killer Cells, Natural* / immunology
  • Killer Cells, Natural* / metabolism
  • Lectins, C-Type* / chemistry
  • Lectins, C-Type* / immunology
  • Lectins, C-Type* / metabolism
  • Male
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B* / chemistry
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B* / immunology
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B* / metabolism
  • Oligosaccharides* / chemistry
  • Oligosaccharides* / immunology
  • Oligosaccharides* / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Rats


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD69 antigen
  • KLRB1 protein, human
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B
  • Oligosaccharides