Molecular characterization of the rat NK cell receptor 2B4

Pappanaicken R. Kumaresan, Susan E. Stepp, Pamela C. Verrett, Samuel S. Chuang, Kent S. Boles, Wayne C. Lai, James C. Ryan, Michael Bennett, Vinay Kumar, Porunelloor A. Mathew

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5 Scopus citations


2B4 (CD244) is a cell surface glycoprotein of the immunoglobulin superfamily involved in the regulation of natural killer and T lymphocyte function. It is the high affinity counter-receptor for CD48. In mouse and human NK cells, crosslinking of 2B4 with a specific monoclonal antibody or with CD48 can trigger cell-mediated cytotoxicity, IFN-γ secretion, phosphoinositol turnover and NK cell invasiveness. Recent reports of defective 2B4 signaling and NK cell function in X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome suggest that this may contribute to the progression of this human disease. Here we describe the molecular characterization of the rat 2B4 gene. The cDNA encodes a protein of 395 amino acid residues that contain two Ig domains in the extracellular region and three unique tyrosine motifs (TxYxxV/I/A) in the cytoplasmic region. The predicted protein has 81 and 68% similarity with mouse 2B4 and human 2B4, respectively. Additionally, it has 94 and 89% similarity at the protein level with the recently reported rat 2B4 related genes, r2B4R-tm and r2B4R-se respectively. Northern blot analysis indicated the presence of multiple transcripts in rat LAK cells and RNK-16 cells. Immunoprecipitation and deglycosylation studies showed that rat 2B4 is glycosylated to similar extent as that of mouse and human 2B4. The cloning of r2B4 in the light of the availability of rat NK cell lines should facilitate in vitro and in vivo experiments to decipher the functional role of 2B4 in NK cell biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-744
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number12-13
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2000


  • 2B4
  • CD2 subfamily
  • NK cells
  • Surface receptors


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