Protection from natural killer cell-mediated lysis by HLA-G expression on target cells

Laszlo Pazmany*, Ofer Mandelboim, Mar Valés-Gómez, Daniel M. Davis, Hugh T. Reyburn, Jack L. Strominger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

332 Scopus citations


The outermost layer of the human placenta is devoid of classical class I human leukocyte antigens (HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-C) and class II proteins (HLA-DR, HLA-DQ, and HLA-DP). Although this prevents recognition by maternal T lymphocytes, the lack of class I molecules leaves these cells susceptible to attack by natural killer (NK) cells. However, trophoblast cells directly in contact with the maternal tissues express the class I molecule HLA-G, which may be involved in protecting the trophoblast from recognition by NK cells. Here evidence is provided that expression of HLA-G is sufficient to protect otherwise susceptible target cells from lysis by activated NK1 and NK2 cell lines and clones that are specific for distinct groups of HLA-C alleles. The receptors on NK cells that recognize HLA-G are also identified.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)792-795
Number of pages4
Issue number5288
StatePublished - 1 Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


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