The CD2-like receptor-activating cytotoxic cell (CRACC) is a cell surface receptor of the CD2 family that triggers NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity through an undefined signaling pathway. CRACC contains cytoplasmic tyrosine-based motifs, immunoreceptor tyrosine-based switch motifs, which resemble those found in the NK cell receptor 2B4. In 2B4, these motifs recruit the adaptor signaling lymphocytic activation molecule-associated protein (SAP), which initiates a signaling cascade mediating cytotoxicity. However, CRACC does not recruit SAP. In this study, we demonstrate that, upon activation, CRACC associates with a homolog of SAP, Ewing's sarcoma's/FL11-activated transcript 2 (EAT-2), in human NK cells. We show that association of EAT-2 induces the phosphorylation of CRACC and that this process is partially reduced by a pharmacological inhibitor of Src kinases. We identify PLCγ1, PLCγ2, and PI3K as the major signaling mediators downstream of CRACC/EAT-2 implicated in NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Moreover, EAT-2 also associates with 2B4 predominantly in resting NK cells, whereas SAP preferentially binds 2B4 upon activation. These results outline a new signaling pathway that triggers CRACC-mediated cytotoxicity and modulates 2B4-mediated activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7996-8002
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2005


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