Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Antigen 2 (BST2) is a type II transmembrane protein expressed on various cell types that tethers the release of viruses. Natural killer (NK) cells express low levels of BST2 under normal conditions but exhibit increased expression of BST2 upon activation. In this study, we show for the first time that murine BST2 can control the cytotoxicity of NK cells. The cytoplasmic tail of murine BST2 contains an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM). The absence of BST2 on NK cells can enhance their cytotoxicity against tumor cells compared to wild type NK cells. NK cells isolated from NZW mice, which express ITIM-deficient BST2, also showed higher cytotoxicity than wild type NK cells. In addition, we found that galectin-8 and galectin-9 were ligands of BST2, since blocking galectin-8 or -9 with monoclonal antibodies enhanced the cytotoxicity of NK cells. These results suggested that BST2 might be a novel NK cell inhibitory receptor as it was involved in regulating NK cell cytotoxicity through its interaction with galectins.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the Basic Science Research Programs of the National Research Foundation of Korea, grant number NRF-2020M3A9I2108528 and NRF-2022R1A2C1011029.
© 2022 by the authors.
- inhibitory receptor
- natural killer cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry