Despite the great variability in gene number in mouse Ly49 haplotypes, all haplotypes characterized to date contain six conserved or ‘framework’ genes (See figure below). One of the framework genes is Ly49q. The Ly49Q protein is expressed on plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), but not on NK cells. Plasmacytoid DC are a rare subset of DC that express TLR7 and TLR9 and are the most potent producers of IFN-alpha after virus infection. We are interested is identifying the function of Ly49Q on pDC.
Using a cell based reporter assay, we have shown that the MHC H-2Kb is a high-affinity ligand for Ly49Q. Ly49Q-BWZ reporter cells can be specifically activated by tumor cells of the H-2b haplotype or ex-vivo cells of H-2b mice (C57BL/6 or 129), but not MHC-deficient cells. The activation can be specifically inhibited with anti-Ly49Q or anti-H-2Kb mAb. Furthermore, Ly49Q-BWZ reporter cells can be specifically activated by immobilized recombinant H-2Kb/Ig but not H-2Db/Ig. To identify the specific function of Ly49Q we have produced Ly49q-deficient mice.
Last updated: April 02, 2015