A7 - HCV infection: Mechanisms of NK-cell-mediated control

A7_April 2014

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. med. Marcus Altfeld
Head, Research Unit Viral Immunology
Heinrich Pette Institute (HPI)
Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology
Martinistraße 52
20251 Hamburg
Tel.: +49-40-48051-221
E mail: marcus.altfeld@hpi.uni-hamburg.de

Project description

Natural Killer cells (NK cells) play an important role in the initial immune response against viral infections, including HCV infection. The precise mechanisms by which NK cells recognize HCV-infected cells and reduce viral replication are not understood.

A better understanding of the mechanisms by which NK cells can lead to a better outcome of HCV infection will contribute not only to the development of new immunotherapeutic interventions in HCV infection, but also other human chronic viral infections.

A7 in 60 SecondsVideoarchiv

online seit 23.02.2014

Previous studies have demonstrated that specific genotypes of NK cell receptors (Killer cell-Immunoglobulin-like receptors, or KIRs) in conjunction with their HLA class I ligands are associated with a better outcome of HCV infection. We furthermore showed that NK cells expressing these KIRs are preferentially expanded in individuals with cleared HCV infection.
We now plan to determine how these KIR+ NK cells recognize HCV-infected cells, and how HCV can evade this NK cell-mediated immune selection pressure.

Related news:

Lunemann S, Martrus G, Hölzemer A, Chapel A, Ziegler M, Körner C, Beltran WG, Carrington M, Wedemeyer H, Altfeld M

Sequence variations in HCV core-derived epitopes alter binding of KIR2DL3 to HLA-C(∗)03:04 and modulate NK cell function
J Hepatol. 2016 Apr 4. pii: S0168-8278(16)30097-6. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2016.03.016. [Epub ahead of print]

Video abstract english "Sequence variations in HCV core-derived epitopes...Videoarchiv

online seit 07.06.2016

Jost S, Altfeld M

Control of human viral infections by natural killer cells
Annu Rev Immunol. 2013;31:163-94. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-032712-100001. Epub 2013 Jan 3.