Many immune receptors are composed of separate ligand-binding and signal-transducing subunits. In natural killer (NK) and T cells, DAP10 was identified as a cell surface adaptor protein in an activating receptor complex with NKG2D, a receptor for the stress-inducible and tumor-associated major histocompatibility complex molecule MICA. Within the DAP10 cytoplasmic domain, an Src homology 2 (SH2) domain-binding site was capable of recruiting the p85 subunit of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase), providing for NKG2D-dependent signal transduction. Thus, NKG2D-DAP10 receptor complexes may activate NK and T cell responses against MICA-bearing tumors.
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