Membrane recruitment of the SH2-containing 5′ inositol phosphatase 1 (SHIP-1) is responsible for the inhibitory signals that modulate phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent signaling pathways. Here we have investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying SHIP-1 activation and its role in CD16-mediated cytotoxicity. We initially demonstrated that a substantial fraction of SHIP-1-mediated 5′ inositol phosphatase activity associates with CD16 ζ chain after receptor cross-linking. Moreover, CD16 stimulation on human primary natural killer (NK) cells induces the rapid and transient translocation of SHIP-1 in the lipid-enriched plasma membrane microdomains, termed rafts, where it associates with tyrosinephosphorylated ζ chain and shc adaptor protein. As evaluated by confocal microscopy, CD16 engagement by reverse antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) rapidly induces SHIP-1 redistribution toward the area of NK cell contact with target cells and its codistribution with aggregated rafts where CD16 receptor also colocalizes. The functional role of SHIP-1 in the modulation of CD16-induced cytotoxicity was explored in NK cells infected with recombinant vaccinia viruses encoding wild-type or catalytic domain-deleted mutant SHIP-1. We found a significant SHIP-1-mediated decrease of CD16-induced cytotoxicity that is strictly dependent on its catalytic activity. These data demonstrate that CD16 engagement on NK cells induces membrane targeting and activation of SHIP-1, which acts as negative regulator of ADCC function.
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