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IL-15Rα chaperones IL-15 to stable dendritic cell membrane complexes that activate NK cells via trans presentation

Abstract : Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune effectors that mediate rapid responses to viral antigens. Interleukin (IL)-15 and its high affinity IL-15 receptor, IL-15Rα, support NK cell homeostasis in resting animals via a novel trans presentation mechanism. To better understand how IL-15 and IL-15Rα support NK cell activation during immune responses, we have used sensitive assays for detecting native IL-15 and IL-15Rα proteins and developed an assay for detecting complexes of these proteins. We find that IL-15 and IL-15Rα are preassembled in complexes within the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi of stimulated dendritic cells (DCs) before being released from cells. IL-15Rα is required for IL-15 production by DCs, and IL-15 that emerges onto the cell surface of matured DCs does not bind to neighboring cells expressing IL-15Rα. We also find that soluble IL-15 – IL-15Rα complexes are induced during inflammation, but membrane-bound IL-15 – IL-15Rα complexes, rather than soluble complexes, support NK cell activation in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we provide in vivo evidence that expression of IL-15Rα specifically on DCs is critical for trans presenting IL-15 and activating NK cells. These studies define an unprecedented cytokine – receptor biosynthetic pathway in which IL-15Rα serves as a chaperone for IL-15, after which membrane- bound IL-15Rα – IL-15 complexes activate NK cells via direct cell – cell contact.
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Erwan Mortier, Tammy Woo, Rommel Advincula, Sara Gozalo, Averil Ma. IL-15Rα chaperones IL-15 to stable dendritic cell membrane complexes that activate NK cells via trans presentation. Journal of Experimental Medicine, Rockefeller University Press, 2008, 205 (5), pp.1213. ⟨10.1084/jem.20071913⟩. ⟨inserm-02442464⟩



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