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CD161

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Synonym Name

CD161, C-type lectin domain family 5 member B, HNKR-P1a, NKR-P1A, Natural killer cell surface protein P1A

Background

CD161 is also known as NKR-P1A, CLEC5B and KLRB1which plays an inhibitory role on natural killer (NK) cells cytotoxicity. Activation results in specific acid sphingomyelinase/SMPD1 stimulation with subsequent marked elevation of intracellular ceramide. Activation also leads to AKT1/PKB and RPS6KA1/RSK1 kinases stimulation as well as markedly enhanced T-cell proliferation induced by anti-CD3. Acts as a lectin that binds to the terminal carbohydrate Gal-alpha Gal epitope as well as to the N-acetyllactosamine epitope. Binds also to CLEC2D/LLT1 as a ligand and inhibits NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity as well as interferon-gamma secretion in target cells. New research shows that genetic inactivation of KLRB1 or antibody-mediated CD161 blockade enhances T cell-mediated killing of glioma cells in vitro and their anti-tumor function in vivo. KLRB1 and its associated transcriptional program are also expressed by substantial T cell populations in other human cancers. The reference provides an atlas of T cells in gliomas and highlights CD161 and other NK cell receptors as immunotherapy targets.

Clinical and Translational Updates

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