Natural killer (NK) cells express C-type lectin-like receptors, encoded in the NK gene complex, that interact with major histocompatibility complex class I and either inhibit or activate functional activity. Human NK cells express heterodimers consisting of CD94 and NKG2 family molecules, whereas murine NK cells express homodimers belonging to the Ly-49 family. The corresponding orthologues for other species, however, have not been described. In this report, we used probes derived from the expressed sequence tag database to clone C57BL/6-derived cDNAs homologous to human NKG2-D and CD94. Among normal tissues, murine NKG2-D and CD94 transcripts are highly expressed only in activated NK cells, including both Ly-49A+ and Ly-49A- subpopulations. Additionally, mNKG2-D is expressed in murine NK cell clones KY-1 and KY-2, whereas mCD94 expression is observed only in KY-1 cells but not KY-2. Last, we have finely mapped the physical location of the Cd94 (centromeric) and Nkg2d (telomeric) genes between Cd69 and the Ly49 cluster in the NK complex. Thus, these data indicate the expanding complexity of the NK complex and the corresponding repertoire of C-type lectin-like receptors on murine NK cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6320-6325
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 26 1998


Dive into the research topics of 'Murine Nkg2d and Cd94 are clustered within the natural killer complex and are expressed independently in natural killer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this