Cutting edge: identification of E-cadherin as a ligand for the murine killer cell lectin-like receptor G1.
Gründemann C., Bauer M., Schweier O., von Oppen N., Lässing U., Saudan P., Becker K-F., Karp K., Hanke T., Bachmann MF., Pircher H.
The killer cell lectin-like receptor G1 (KLRG1) is expressed by NK cells and by T cells. In both humans and mice, KLRG1 identifies Ag-experienced T cells that are impaired in their proliferative capacity but are capable of performing effector functions. In this study, we identified E-cadherin as a ligand for murine KLRG1 by using fluorescently labeled, soluble tetrameric complexes of the extracellular domain of the murine KLRG1 molecule as staining reagents in expression cloning. Ectopic expression of E-cadherin in B16.BL6 target cells did not affect cell-mediated lysis by lymphokine-activated NK cells and by CD8 T cells but inhibited Ag-induced proliferation and induction of cytolytic activity of CD8 T cells. E-cadherin is expressed by normal epithelial cells, Langerhans cells, and keratinocytes and is usually down-regulated on metastatic cancer cells. KLRG1 ligation by E-cadherin in healthy tissue may thus exert an inhibitory effect on primed T cells.