Donor and host coexpressing KIR ligands promote NK education after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
ABSTRACT: The rate and extent of natural killer (NK)-cell education after hematopoietic cell transplantation correlates with leukemia control. To study the effect of donor and host HLA on NK-cell reconstitution, single killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR)+ NK cells (exhibiting KIR2DL1, KIR2DL2/KIR2DL3, or KIR3DL1 as their sole receptor) were grouped into 4 groups based on the interaction between donor/host HLA and donor inhibitory KIR in 2 cohorts (n = 114 and n = 276, respectively). On days 90 to 180 after transplantation, the absolute number and responsiveness against K562 cells (CD107a or interferon-? expression) of single-KIR+ NK cells were higher in pairs where donor and host HLA both expressed ligands for donor inhibitory KIRs than in pairs where 1 or both of the donor and recipient HLA lacked at least 1 KIR ligand. NK-cell responsiveness was tuned commensurate with the number of inhibitory receptors from the donor. When both donor and host expressed the 3 major KIR ligands (HLA-C1, HLA-C2, and HLA-Bw4), NK cells expressing 3 inhibitory receptors (KIR2DL1/2DL3/3DL1) reached the maximum responsiveness against K562 cells compared with those NK cells expressing only 1 or 2 inhibitory receptors. When donor and host HLA both expressed all ligands for donor inhibitory KIRs, patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) showed the lowest recurrence rate after haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (haplo-HSCT). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that when both donors and hosts present all the KIR ligands for donor KIRs, reconstituted NK cells achieve better functional education and contribute to least relapse among patients. This observation study was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02978274.
Project description:The functions of human NK cells in defense against pathogens and placental development during reproduction are modulated by interactions of killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs) with HLA-A, -B and -C class I ligands. Both receptors and ligands are highly polymorphic and exhibit extensive differences between human populations. Indigenous to southern Africa are the KhoeSan, the most ancient group of modern human populations, who have highest genomic diversity worldwide. We studied two KhoeSan populations, the Nama pastoralists and the ?Khomani San hunter-gatherers. Comprehensive next-generation sequence analysis of HLA-A, -B, and -C and all KIR genes identified 248 different KIR and 137 HLA class I, which assort into ?200 haplotypes for each gene family. All 74 Nama and 78 ?Khomani San studied have different genotypes. Numerous novel KIR alleles were identified, including three arising by intergenic recombination. On average, KhoeSan individuals have seven to eight pairs of interacting KIR and HLA class I ligands, the highest diversity and divergence of polymorphic NK cell receptors and ligands observed to date. In this context of high genetic diversity, both the Nama and the ?Khomani San have an unusually conserved, centromeric KIR haplotype that has arisen to high frequency and is different in the two KhoeSan populations. Distinguishing these haplotypes are independent mutations in KIR2DL1, which both prevent KIR2DL1 from functioning as an inhibitory receptor for C2+ HLA-C. The relatively high frequency of C2+ HLA-C in the Nama and the ?Khomani San appears to have led to natural selection against strong inhibitory C2-specific KIR.
Project description:NK cells are innate lymphocytes with protective functions against viral infections and tumor formation. Human NK cells carry inhibitory killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs), which recognize distinct HLAs. NK cells with KIRs for self-HLA molecules acquire superior cytotoxicity against HLA- tumor cells during education for improved missing-self recognition. Here, we reconstituted mice with human hematopoietic cells from donors with homozygous KIR ligands or with a mix of hematopoietic cells from these homozygous donors, allowing assessment of the resulting KIR repertoire and NK cell education. We found that co-reconstitution with 2 KIR ligand-mismatched compartments did not alter the frequency of KIR-expressing NK cells. However, NK cell education was diminished in mice reconstituted with parallel HLA compartments due to a lack of cognate HLA molecules on leukocytes for the corresponding KIRs. This change in NK cell education in mixed human donor-reconstituted mice improved NK cell-mediated immune control of EBV infection, indicating that mixed hematopoietic cell populations could be exploited to improve NK cell reactivity against leukotropic pathogens. Taken together, these findings indicate that leukocytes lacking cognate HLA ligands can disarm KIR+ NK cells in a manner that may decrease HLA- tumor cell recognition but allows for improved NK cell-mediated immune control of a human ?-herpesvirus.
Project description:The interaction of inhibitory killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs) with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules has been characterized in detail. By contrast, activating members of the KIR family, although closely related to inhibitory KIRs, appear to interact weakly, if at all, with HLA class I. KIR2DS1 is the best studied activating KIR and it interacts with C2 group HLA-C (C2-HLA-C) in some assays, but not as strongly as KIR2DL1. We used a mouse 2B4 cell reporter system, which carries NFAT-green fluorescent protein with KIR2DS1 and a modified DAP12 adaptor protein. KIR2DS1 reporter cells were not activated upon coculture with 721.221 cells transfected with different HLA-C molecules, or with interferon-? stimulated primary dermal fibroblasts. However, KIR2DS1 reporter cells and KIR2DS1+ primary natural killer (NK) cells were activated by C2-HLA-C homozygous human fetal foreskin fibroblasts (HFFFs) but only after infection with specific clones of a clinical strain of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Active viral gene expression was required for activation of both cell types. Primary NKG2A-KIR2DS1+ NK cell subsets degranulated after coculture with HCMV-infected HFFFs. The W6/32 antibody to HLA class I blocked the KIR2DS1 reporter cell interaction with its ligand on HCMV-infected HFFFs but did not block interaction with KIR2DL1. This implies a differential recognition of HLA-C by KIR2DL1 and KIR2DS1. The data suggest that modulation of HLA-C by HCMV is required for a potent KIR2DS1-mediated NK cell activation.
Project description:Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor/HLA class I (KIR/HLA-I) combinations are associated with disease risk, implicating functional roles for NK cells (NKCs) or KIR(+) T cells. KIR/HLA-I interactions can act through inhibition of NKC activation by target cells and NKC licensing for greater intrinsic responsiveness. We compared licensing conferred by the weaker, HLA-C group 1/KIR2DL3, and the stronger, HLA-C group 2/KIR2DL1, inhibitory combinations. The "rheostat model" predicts weaker licensing by HLA-C1/KIR2DL3 interactions than HLA-C2/KIR2DL1. We analyzed degranulation in NKC subsets expressing single and multiple receptors for HLA-I. NKG2A had the strongest licensing impact, while KIR2DL3, KIR2DL1, and KIR3DL1 were weaker, and not significantly different to each other. Presence of one or two matched HLA-C allotypes did not alter licensing of KIR2DL3(+) and KIR2DL1(+) NKC. Coexpression of activating KIR2DS1 disarmed KIR2DL3(+) and KIR2DL1(+) NKC to a similar extent. KIR3DL1 and NKG2A combined for more enhanced licensing of double-positive NKC than the combination of KIR2DL3 and KIR2DL1. Thus, KIR2DL3 and KIR2DL1 have similar capacity to license NKC, suggesting that inhibitory signal strength and amount of available HLA-C ligands do not correlate with NKC licensing. Altogether, our results show that the basis for disease associations of HLA-C and KIR2DL likely encompasses factors other than licensing.
Project description:Human natural killer (NK) cell activity is regulated by a family of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) that bind human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I. Combinations of KIR and HLA genotypes are associated with disease, including susceptibility to viral infection and disorders of pregnancy. KIR2DL1 binds HLA-C alleles of group C2 (Lys80). KIR2DL2 and KIR2DL3 bind HLA-C alleles of group C1 (Asn80). However, this model cannot explain HLA-C allelic effects in disease or the impact of HLA-bound peptides. The goal of this study was to determine the extent to which the endogenous HLA-C peptide repertoire can influence the specific binding of inhibitory KIR to HLA-C allotypes.The impact of HLA-C bound peptide on inhibitory KIR binding was investigated taking advantage of the fact that HLA-C*05:01 (HLA-C group 2, C2) and HLA-C*08:02 (HLA-C group 1, C1) have identical sequences apart from the key KIR specificity determining epitope at residues 77 and 80. Endogenous peptides were eluted from HLA-C*05:01 and used to test the peptide dependence of KIR2DL1 and KIR2DL2/3 binding to HLA-C*05:01 and HLA-C*08:02 and subsequent impact on NK cell function. Specific binding of KIR2DL1 to the C2 allotype occurred with the majority of peptides tested. In contrast, KIR2DL2/3 binding to the C1 allotype occurred with only a subset of peptides. Cross-reactive binding of KIR2DL2/3 with the C2 allotype was restricted to even fewer peptides. Unexpectedly, two peptides promoted binding of the C2 allotype-specific KIR2DL1 to the C1 allotype. We showed that presentation of endogenous peptides or HIV Gag peptides by HLA-C can promote KIR cross-reactive binding.KIR2DL2/3 binding to C1 is more peptide selective than that of KIR2DL1 binding to C2, providing an explanation for KIR2DL3-C1 interactions appearing weaker than KIR2DL1-C2. In addition, cross-reactive binding of KIR is characterized by even higher peptide selectivity. We demonstrate a hierarchy of functional peptide selectivity of KIR-HLA-C interactions with relevance to NK cell biology and human disease associations. This selective peptide sequence-driven binding of KIR provides a potential mechanism for pathogen as well as self-peptide to modulate NK cell activation through altering levels of inhibition.
Project description:Epidemiological studies have associated certain human disease outcomes with particular killer cell Ig-like receptor (KIR) and HLA genotypes. However, the functional explanation for these associations is poorly understood, because the KIRs were initially described as natural killer (NK) cell inhibitory receptors with specificity for HLA molecules on their cellular targets. Yet resolution of infections is often associated with genotypic pairing of inhibitory KIRs with their cognate HLA ligands. Recent studies in mice indicate a second role for MHC-specific inhibitory receptors, i.e., self-MHC recognition confers functional competence on the NK cell to be triggered through their activation receptors, a process termed licensing. As a result, licensed NK cells with self-MHC-specific receptors are more readily activated as compared with unlicensed NK cells without self-MHC-specific receptors. Such results predict that human NK cells may undergo a similar process. Here, we examined the human NK cell subset expressing KIR3DL1, the only known KIR specific for HLA-Bw4 alleles. The KIR3DL1(+) subset in normal donors with two HLA-B-Bw4 genes displayed increased responsiveness to tumor stimulation compared with the KIR3DL1(+) subset from individuals with only one or no Bw4 genes. By contrast, NK cells lacking KIR3DL1 showed no differences. Therefore, these data indicate that particular KIR and HLA alleles are associated with more responsive NK cells, strongly suggesting that human NK cells are also subjected to NK cell licensing, and providing a potential functional explanation for the influence of KIR and HLA genes in disease as well as interindividual differences in NK cell potency.
Project description:The human killer cell Ig-like receptor (KIR) locus comprises two groups of KIR haplotypes, termed A and B. These are present in all human populations but with different relative frequencies, suggesting they have different functional properties that underlie their balancing selection. We studied the genomic organization and functional properties of the alleles of the inhibitory and activating HLA-C receptors encoded by KIR haplotypes. Because every HLA-C allotype functions as a ligand for KIR, the interactions between KIR and HLA-C dominate the HLA class I-mediated regulation of human NK cells. The C2 epitope is recognized by inhibitory KIR2DL1 and activating KIR2DS1, whereas the C1 epitope is recognized by inhibitory KIR2DL2 and KIR2DL3. This study shows that the KIR2DL1, KIR2DS1, and KIR2DL2/3 alleles form distinctive phylogenetic clades that associate with specific KIR haplotypes. KIR A haplotypes are characterized by KIR2DL1 alleles that encode strong inhibitory C2 receptors and KIR2DL3 alleles encoding weak inhibitory C1 receptors. In striking contrast, KIR B haplotypes are characterized by KIR2DL1 alleles that encode weak inhibitory C2 receptors and KIR2DL2 alleles encoding strong inhibitory C1 receptors. The wide-ranging properties of KIR allotypes arise from substitutions throughout the KIR molecule. Such substitutions can influence cell surface expression, as well as the avidity and specificity for HLA-C ligands. Consistent with the crucial role of inhibitory HLA-C receptors in self-recognition, as well as NK cell education and response, most KIR haplotypes have both a functional C1 and C2 receptor, despite the considerable variation that occurs in ligand recognition and surface expression.
Project description:Inhibitory killer immunoglobulin (Ig)-like receptors (KIRs) recognize HLA-C and -B epitopes on target cells, thereby regulating natural killer (NK) cell activity. In 178 patients receiving T-cell-depleted HLA-identical sibling transplants for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), analysis of donor KIR genotype with HLA genotype demonstrated that 62.9% of the patients lacked an HLA ligand for donor-inhibitory KIR. Lack of HLA ligand for donor-inhibitory KIR (missing KIR ligand) had no effect on disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), or relapse in patients receiving transplants for CML and ALL. In patients with AML and MDS, however, there was a significant missing KIR ligand effect on DFS (P = .014; hazard ratio [HR], 0.53; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.28-0.88) and OS (P = .03; HR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.3-0.93). Incidence of relapse was also lower in patients with AML and MDS who lacked the HLA ligand for donor-inhibitory KIR (P = .04; HR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.18-0.97). AML and MDS patients lacking 2 HLA ligands for donor-inhibitory KIR had the highest DFS (P = .002) and OS (P = .003). There was no significant contribution of donor-activating KIR to transplantation outcome in these patients. These data indicate that the absence of class I ligand in the recipient for donor-inhibitory KIR can be a prognostic factor for transplantation outcome in HLA-identical sibling transplantation and that the lack of HLA-C or -B ligands for donor-inhibitory KIR can contribute to improved outcomes for patients with AML and MDS.
Project description:Natural killer (NK) cell function is regulated by a fine balance between numerous activating and inhibitory receptors, of which killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) are among the most polymorphic and comprehensively studied. KIRs allow NK cells to recognize downregulation or the absence of HLA class I molecules on target cells (known as missing-self), a phenomenon that is commonly observed in virally infected cells or cancer cells. Because KIR and HLA genes are located on different chromosomes, in an allogeneic environment such as after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, donor NK cells that express an inhibitory KIR for an HLA class I molecule that is absent on recipient targets (KIR/KIR-ligand mismatch), can recognize and react to this missing self and mediate cytotoxicity. Accumulating data indicate that epistatic interactions between KIR and HLA influence outcomes in several clinical conditions. Herein, we discuss the genetic and functional features of KIR/KIR-ligand interactions in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and how these data can guide donor selection. We will also review clinical studies of adoptive NK cell therapy in leukemia and emerging data on the use of genetically modified NK cells that could broaden the scope of cancer immunotherapy.
Project description:Killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs) interact with HLA class I ligands to regulate NK cell development and function. These interactions affect the outcome of unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We have shown previously that donors with KIR B versus KIR A haplotypes improve the clinical outcome for patients with acute myelogenous leukemia by reducing the incidence of leukemic relapse and improving leukemia-free survival (LFS). Both centromeric and telomeric KIR B genes contribute to the effect, but the centromeric genes are dominant. They include the genes encoding inhibitory KIRs that are specific for the C1 and C2 epitopes of HLA-C. We used an expanded cohort of 1532 T cell-replete transplants to examine the interaction between donor KIR B genes and recipient class I HLA KIR ligands. The relapse protection associated with donor KIR B is enhanced in recipients who have one or two C1-bearing HLA-C allotypes, compared with C2 homozygous recipients, with no effect due to donor HLA. The protective interaction between donors with two or more, versus none or one, KIR B motifs and recipient C1 was specific to transplants with class I mismatch at HLA-C (RR of leukemia-free survival, 0.57 [0.40-0.79]; p = 0.001) irrespective of the KIR ligand mismatch status of the transplant. The survival advantage and relapse protection in C1/x recipients compared with C2/C2 recipients was similar irrespective of the particular donor KIR B genes. Understanding the interactions between donor KIR and recipient HLA class I can be used to inform donor selection to improve outcome of unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation for acute myelogenous leukemia.