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NKp65 is an activating human C-type lectin-like receptor (CTLR) triggering cellular cytotoxicity and cytokine secretion upon high-affinity interaction with the cognate CTLR keratinocyte-associated C-type lectin (KACL) selectively expressed by human keratinocytes. Previously, we demonstrated that NKp65-mediated cellular cytotoxicity depends on tyrosine 7, located in a cytoplasmic sequence motif of NKp65 resembling a hemi-immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (hemITAM). HemITAMs have been reported for a few activating myeloid-specific CTLRs, including Dectin-1 and CLEC-2, and consist of a single tyrosine signaling unit preceded by a triacidic motif. Upon receptor engagement, the hemITAM undergoes phosphotyrosinylation and specifically recruits spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), initiating cellular activation. In this study, we addressed the functionality of the putative hemITAM of NKp65. We show that NKp65 forms homodimers and is phosphorylated at the hemITAM-embedded tyrosine 7 upon engagement by antibodies or KACL homodimers. HemITAM phosphotyrosinylation initiates a signaling pathway involving and depending on Syk, leading to cellular activation and natural killer (NK) cell degranulation. However, although NKp65 utilizes Syk for NK cell activation, a physical association of Syk with the NKp65 hemITAM could not be detected, unlike shown previously for the hemITAM of myeloid CTLR. Failure of NKp65 to recruit Syk is not due to an alteration of the triacidic motif, which rather affects the efficiency of hemITAM phosphotyrosinylation. In summary, NKp65 utilizes a hemITAM-like motif for cellular activation that requires Syk, although Syk appears not to be recruited to NKp65. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Björn Bauer, Tanja Wotapek, Tobias Zöller, Emilia Rutkowski, Alexander Steinle. The Activating C-type Lectin-like Receptor NKp65 Signals through a Hemi-immunoreceptor Tyrosine-based Activation Motif (hemITAM) and Spleen Tyrosine Kinase (Syk). The Journal of biological chemistry. 2017 Feb 24;292(8):3213-3223

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PMID: 28082678

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