Acquisition of activation receptor ligand by trogocytosis renders NK cells hyporesponsive

Cathrine A. Miner, Tusar K. Giri, Claire E. Meyer, Mark Shabsovich, Sandeep K. Tripathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Because NK cells secrete cytotoxic granules and cytokines that can destroy surrounding cells and help shape the subsequent immune response, they must be kept under tight control. Several mechanisms, at different levels, are in place to control NK cell function. In this study, we describe a novel mechanism regulating NK cell function in which NK cells acquire ligands for activating receptors from target cells by trogocytosis, rendering the NK cells hyporesponsive. In this model, murine NK cells acquire m157, the murine CMV-encoded ligand for the Ly49H-activating receptor, from target cells both in vitro and in vivo. Although acquisition of m157 requires cell-to-cell contact, it does not require the expression of the Ly49H receptor by the NK cell. Acquired m157 protein is expressed on the NK cell surface with a glycosylphosphatidylinisotol linkage and interacts with the Ly49H receptor expressed on the NK cell. This interaction results in blocking the Ly49H receptor that prevents the NK cells from recognizing m157-expressing targets and continuous engagement of the Ly49H-activating receptor, which results in the hyporesponsiveness of the Ly49H+ NK cell to stimulation through other activating receptors. Thus, NK cell acquisition of a ligand for an activation receptor by trogocytosis renders them hyporesponsive. This mechanism, by which mature NK cell function can be altered, has important implications in regard to how NK cells respond to tumors in specific microenvironments as well as the use of expanded NK cells in treating various malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1945-1953
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Acquisition of activation receptor ligand by trogocytosis renders NK cells hyporesponsive'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this