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Published in Molecular Immunology 42 (2005) 665–671.


UL16 binding proteins (ULBPs) are ligands for the NK cell activating receptor NKG2D. A cDNA encoding a porcine ULBP-like protein (PULBP) was cloned and the predicted amino acid sequence exhibited 35–52% identity to human ULBPs. Southern blot analysis suggested that there is only one ULBP-like gene in the pig genome. Transcripts of PULBP and another potential NKG2D ligand, MIC2, were detected by RT-PCR in a wide range of tissues. Recombinant PULBP-Fc and human ULBP2-Fc fusion proteins were made and used to examine PULBP binding to porcine PBMCs and a human NK cell line (NKL cells). PULBP-Fc bound to a subpopulation of porcine PBMCs but not NKL cells. Conversely, human ULBP2-Fc did not bind to porcine PBMCs but did stably interact with NKL cells.

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