Cellular and molecular basis of natural killer and natural killer-like activity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The capability of killing various tumors or cells infected by certain viruses is a property shared by natural killer (NK) cells and by a subset of cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTLs) termed NK-CTL. Recent analysis of the molecular basis in these phenomena, however, revealed rather different molecular mechanisms. Thus, while NK cell cytotoxicity is regulated by a complex balance between activating signals (delivered by non HLA-class I-specific triggering receptors) and inhibitory signals (delivered by HLA-class I-specific receptors) the effector function of NK-CTL reflects the TCR-mediated recognition of the poorly polymorphic HLA-E.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalImmunology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2003


  • Dendritic cells
  • HLA-class I-specific NK receptors
  • NK cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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