Novel insights in NK cell receptors and their ligands in health and disease

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Guest Editor
Dr. Rosa Molfetta
Cinzia Fionda, and Helena Stabile
Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome

Manuscript Topics
Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes playing a prominent role in anti-viral and anti-tumor immune responses thank to their ability to rapidly activate a cytotoxic function against infected and transformed cells, and to influence both innate and adaptive immunity by cytokine and chemokine release. Their activation is finely tuned by signals initiated by a plethora of activating receptors that recognize ligands specifically induced or up-regulated on damaged cells by stressful stimuli and inhibitory receptors mainly triggered by recognition of Major Hystocompatibility class I molecules (MHC-I) on healthy cells. However, both viruses and cancer cells have developed the ability to dampen NK cell activation by the down-modulation of activating ligand expression and up-regulation of ligands for non MHC-I inhibitory receptors including PD-1, TAM and Tim-3.

On the other hand, expression of various receptors may underlie different effector functions in discrete NK cell subsets, and may be regulated during NK cell development and in different pathological conditions. Moreover, down-modulation of NK cell receptors often occurs upon engagement by their respective ligands and modulates NK cell effector functions. In this context, we would like to invite authors to submit original research and review articles focused on specific receptor/ligand axes regulating NK cell activity in physiological and pathological contexts.

Potential topics include, but are not restricted to
• Expression of NK cell receptors during development
• Expression and function of activating and inhibitory receptors on different NK cell subsets
• Signals initiated by activating and inhibitory NK cell receptors
• Molecular mechanisms regulating NK cell receptor expression and signaling
• Regulation of NK cell activating and inhibitory ligand expression in transformed and infected cells

Paper submission
All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed before their acceptance for publication.
The deadline for manuscript submission is May 31, 2018.

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Stefano Regis, Fabio Caliendo, Alessandra Dondero, Francesca Bellora, Beatrice Casu, Cristina Bottino, Roberta Castriconi
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Rosa Molfetta, Beatrice Zitti, Angela Santoni, Rossella Paolini
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