Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
The poliovirus receptor (PVR) belongs to a large family of Ig molecules called nectins and nectin-like proteins, which mediate cell-cell adhesion, cell migration, and serve as entry receptors for viruses. It has been recently shown that human NK cells recognize PVR through the receptor DNAM-1, which triggers NK cell stimulation in association with beta(2) integrin. In this study, we show that NK cells recognize PVR through an additional receptor, CD96, or T cell-activated increased late expression (Tactile). CD96 promotes NK cell adhesion to target cells expressing PVR, stimulates cytotoxicity of activated NK cells, and mediates acquisition of PVR from target cells. Thus, NK cells have evolved a dual receptor system that recognizes nectins and nectin-like molecules on target cells and mediates NK cell adhesion and triggering of effector functions. As PVR is highly expressed in certain tumors, this receptor system may be critical for NK cell recognition of tumors.