|Detection of NKp46/NCR1 in Human PBMCs by Flow Cytometry. Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were stained with Mouse Anti-Human NCAM‑1/CD56 PE‑conjugated Monoclonal Antibody (Catalog # FAB2408P) and either (A) Mouse Anti-Human NKp46/NCR1 APC‑conjugated Monoclonal Antibody (Catalog # FAB1850A) or (B) Mouse IgG2B Allophycocyanin Isotype Control (Catalog # IC0041A). View our protocol for Staining Membrane-associated Proteins.|
NKp46, along with NKp30 and NKp44, are activating receptors that have been collectively termed the natural cytotoxicity receptors (NCR) (1). These receptors lack significant sequence homology to one another. They are expressed almost exclusively by NK cells and play a major role in triggering some of the key lytic activities of NK cells. The CD56dimCD16+ subpopulation that makes up the majority of NK cells in the peripheral blood and spleen expresses NKp46 in both resting and activated states (2). The main NK cell population of the lymph node (CD56brightCD16-) expresses low levels of NKp46 in resting cells, but expression is up-regulated by IL-2. NKp46 is a type I transmembrane protein with two extracellular Ig-like domains followed by a short stalk region, a transmembrane domain containing a positively charged amino acid residue, and a short cytoplasmic tail. Through its positive charge in the transmembrane domain, NKp46 associates with the ITAM‑bearing signal adapter proteins, CD3 zeta and Fc epsilon R1 gamma, which are able to form disulfide-linked homodimers and heterodimers (3, 8). Studies with neutralizing antibodies indicate that the three NCRs are primarily responsible for triggering the NK-mediated lysis of many human tumor cell lines. Blocking any of the NCRs individually resulted in partial inhibition of tumor cell lysis, but nearly complete inhibition of lysis was observed if all three receptors were blocked simultaneously (4). NKp46 has also been implicated in recognition of virus-infected cells through its capacity to bind to viral hemagglutinins (5‑7). Human NKp46 shares 58% and 59% amino acid sequence identity with the mouse and rat proteins, respectively.
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