Human CD16 as a lysis receptor mediating direct natural killer cell cytotoxicity

Ofer Mandelboim, Pratap Malik, Daniel M. Davis, Chang H. Jo, Jonathan E. Boyson, Jack L. Strominger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

213 Scopus citations


In addition to their role in peptide antigen presentation, class I MHC proteins also play a critical role in inhibiting natural killer (NK) cytotoxicity through interaction with NK inhibitory receptors. Thus, NK cells are cytotoxic to virus-infected and tumor cells that have lost class I MHC protein expression. However, the nature of the receptors involved in the triggering of lysis of target cells is poorly understood. CD16 (Fcγ receptor III) has been described as a receptor expressed on NK cells that facilitates antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) by binding to the Fc portion of various antibodies. However, we show here that CD16 has a broader function and is directly involved in the lysis of some virus-infected cells and tumor cells, independent of antibody binding. The presence of a putative CD16 ligand on appropriate target cells has also been demonstrated by the use of a CD16-Ig fusion protein.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5640-5644
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - 11 May 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Fcγ receptor III
  • Ig superfamily
  • Innate immunity


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