H60, originally described as a dominant minor histocompatibility Ag, is an MHC class I-like molecule that serves as a ligand for the NKG2D receptor. In the present study, we identified two novel mouse chromosome 10-encoded NKG2D ligands structurally resembling H60. These ligands, which we named H60b and H60c, encode MHC class I-like molecules with two extracellular domains. Whereas H60b has a transmembrane region, H60c is a GPI-anchored protein. Recombinant soluble H60b and H60c proteins bound to NKG2D with affinities typical of cell- cell recognition receptors (Kd = 310 nM for H60b and Kd = 8.7 μM for H60c). Furthermore, expression of H60b or H60c rendered Ba/F3 cells susceptible to lysis by NK cells, thereby establishing H60b and H60c as functional ligands for NKG2D. H60b and H60c transcripts were detected only at low levels in tissues of healthy adult mice. Whereas H60b transcripts were detectable in various tissues, H60c transcripts were detected mainly in the skin. Infection of mouse embryonic fibroblasts with murine cytomegalovirus induced expression of H60b, but not H60c or the previously known H60 gene, indicating that transcriptional activation of the three types of H60 genes is differentially regulated. The present study adds two new members to the current list of NKG2D ligands.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy