Natural killer (NK) cells and NKT cells play critical early roles in host defense. Here we show that MIST, an adaptor protein belonging to the SLP-76 family, functions negatively in NK cells but positively in CD4+NKT cells. NK-cell receptor-mediated IFN-γ production was enhanced in NK cells, whereas TCR- or NK-cell receptor-mediated cytokine production was reduced in CD4+NKT cells from MIST-deficient mice. These opposite effects of MIST paralleled the exclusive expression of the Src family kinase, Fgr, in NK cells between the 2 cell populations. We further demonstrated that interaction of MIST with Fgr, mediated by the C-terminal proline-rich region of MIST and the SH3 domain of Fgr, was required for the suppression of NK-cell receptor-induced IFN-γ production. This functional interdependence of signaling molecules demonstrates a new mechanism by which adaptor proteins can act as molecular switches to control diverse responses in different cell populations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology