The enigma of the natural killer cell

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cells are controlled by receptors specific for polymorphic determinants of class I molecules of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The contrasting properties of NK and cytotoxic T cell (CTL) class I receptors provide complementarity in the cytolytic lymphocyte response to viruses, tumours and transplants. Whereas human NK cell class I receptors consist of immunoglobulin domains, their mouse counterparts resemble C-type lee-tins. This difference may reflect the receptors' diverse and rapidly evolving class I ligands.

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Gumperz, J., Parham, P. The enigma of the natural killer cell. Nature 378, 245–248 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1038/378245a0

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