Human anti-NKp46 antibody for studies of NKp46-dependent NK cell function and its applications for type 1 diabetes and cancer research

Orit Berhani, Ariella Glasner, Shira Kahlon, Alexandra Duev-Cohen, Rachel Yamin, Elad Horwitz, Jonatan Enk, Ofra Moshel, Alexandar Varvak, Angel Porgador, Stipan Jonjic, Ofer Mandelboim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes that efficiently eliminate cancerous and infected cells. NKp46 is an important NK activating receptor shown to participate in recognition and activation of NK cells against pathogens, tumor cells, virally infected cells, and self-cells in autoimmune conditions, including type I and II diabetes. However, some of the NKp46 ligands are unknown and therefore investigating human NKp46 activity and its critical role in NK cell biology is problematic. We developed a unique anti-human NKp46 monocloncal antibody, denoted hNKp46.02 (02). The 02 mAb can induce receptor internalization and degradation. By binding to a unique epitope on a particular domain of NKp46, 02 lead NKp46 to lysosomal degradation. This downregulation therefore enables the investigation of all NKp46 activities. Indeed, using the 02 mAb we determined NK cell targets which are critically dependent on NKp46 activity, including certain tumor cells lines and human pancreatic beta cells. Most importantly, we showed that a toxin-conjugated 02 inhibits the growth of NKp46-positive cells; thus, exemplifying the potential of 02 in becoming an immunotherapeutic drug to treat NKp46-dependent diseases, such as, type I diabetes and NK and T cell related malignancies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)228-241
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Moked grant), the GIF foundation, the ICRF professorship grant, the ISF Israel-China grant and by the Ministry of Science and Technology grant DKFZ-MOST.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • NK cells
  • NKp46
  • antibody
  • cancer
  • type 1 diabetes


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