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HLA-A alleles influencing NK cell function impact AML relapse following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

ABSTRACT: HLA-B allotypes exhibiting the Bw4 epitope trigger variable inhibitory signaling of KIR3DL1 receptor types, where strong inhibitory HLA-B and KIR3DL1 allele combinations are associated with increased risk for relapse of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Several HLA-A allotypes also exhibit the Bw4 epitope. Studies with natural killer (NK) cell clones have demonstrated NK inhibition via KIR3DL1 by HLA-A Bw4+ allotypes, but did not delineate strengths of inhibition or hierarchies of NK education. Using primary NK cells from healthy donors, we demonstrate that HLA-A*23, HLA-A*24, and HLA-A*32 proteins are expressed at different densities and exhibit different capacities to educate and inhibit KIR3DL1-expressing NK cells in vitro. Among the HLA-A Bw4+ allotypes, HLA-A*24 and HLA-A*32 demonstrate the strongest inhibitory capacity. To determine if HLA-A allotypes with strong inhibitory capacity have similar negative impact in allogeneic HCT as HLA-B Bw4+ allotypes, we performed a retrospective analysis of 1729 patients with AML who received an allogeneic HCT from a 9/10 or 10/10 HLA allele-matched unrelated donor. Examination of the donor-recipient pairs whose Bw4 epitope was exclusively contributed from HLA-A*24 and A*32 allotypes revealed that patients with HLA-A*24 who received an allograft from a KIR3DL1+ donor experienced a higher risk of disease relapse (hazard ratio, 1.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-2.32; P = .004) when compared with patients without a Bw4 epitope. These findings indicate that despite weak affinity interactions with KIR3DL1, common HLA-A allotypes with the Bw4 epitope can interact with KIR3DL1+ donor NK cells with clinically meaningful impact and provide additional insight to donor NK alloreactivity in HLA-matched HCT.

SUBMITTER: van der Ploeg K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7556125 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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