The receptor NKG2D allows natural killer (NK) cells to detect virally infected, stressed, and tumor cells. In human cells, NKG2D signaling is mediated through the associated DAP10 adapter. Here we show that engagement of NKG2D by itself is sufficient to stimulate the formation of the NK immunological synapse (NKIS), with recruitment of NKG2D to the center synapse. Mutagenesis studies of DAP10 revealed that the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase binding site, but not the Grb2 binding site, was required and sufficient for recruitment of DAP10 to the NKIS. Surprisingly, we found that in the absence of the Grb2 binding site, Grb2 was still recruited to the NKIS. Since the recruitment of Grb2 was dependent on phosphatidylinositol-(3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3), we explored the possibility that recruitment to the NKIS is mediated by a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain-containing binding partner for Grb2. We found that the PH domain of SOS1, but not that of Vav1, was able to be recruited by PIP3. These results provide new insights into the mechanism of immunological synapse formation and also demonstrate how multiple mechanisms can be used to recruit the same signaling proteins to the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8583-8599
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2007


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