Interferon-Dependent Induction of Clr-b during Mouse Cytomegalovirus Infection Protects Bystander Cells from Natural Killer Cells via NKR-P1B-Mediated Inhibition Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes that aid in self-nonself discrimination by recognizing cells undergoing pathological alterations. The NKR-P1B inhibitory receptor recognizes Clr-b, a self-encoded marker of cell health downregulated during viral infection. Here, we show that Clr-b loss during mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection is predicated by a loss of Clr-b (<i>Clec2d</i>) promoter activity and nascent transcripts, driven in part by MCMV <i>ie3</i> (M122) activity. In contrast, uninfected bystander cells near MCMV-infected fibroblasts reciprocally upregulate Clr-b expression due to paracrine type-I interferon (IFN) signaling. Exposure of fibroblasts to type-I IFN augments <i>Clec2d</i> promoter activity and nascent Clr-b transcripts, dependent upon a cluster of IRF3/7/9 motifs located ∼200 bp upstream of the transcriptional start site. Cells deficient in type-I IFN signaling components revealed IRF9 and STAT1 as key transcription factors involved in Clr-b upregulation. In chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments, the <i>Clec2d</i> IRF cluster recruited STAT2 upon IFN-α exposure, confirming the involvement of ISGF3 (IRF9/STAT1/STAT2) in positively regulating the <i>Clec2d</i> promoter. These findings demonstrate that Clr-b is an IFN-stimulated gene on healthy bystander cells, in addition to a missing-self marker on MCMV-infected cells, and thereby enhances the dynamic range of innate self-nonself discrimination by NK cells.


  • Kirkham, Christina L
  • Aguilar, Oscar A
  • Yu, Tao
  • Tanaka, Miho
  • Mesci, Aruz
  • Chu, Kuan-Lun
  • Fine, Jason H
  • Mossman, Karen
  • Bremner, Rod
  • Allan, David SJ
  • Carlyle, James R

publication date

  • 2017

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