Alternative Splicing Patterns of the Nkg2a and Nkg2c Genes In Natural Killer Cells Of Squirrel Monkeys And Marmosets

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Fall 2005

Project Description/Abstract

Mammalian natural killer (NK) cells, an important component of an organism’s immune system, are capable of identifying and destroying virus-infected and cancer cells. Several genes, including NKG2A and NKG2C, code for the diverse set of proteins that can “sense” dysfunctional cells. Human NK cells express one alternatively spliced or shortened version, of the NKG2A and NKG2C genes. Interestingly, rhesus monkeys express three alternatively spliced versions of each gene. The proposed experiments are designed to characterize alternative splicing patterns of the NKG2A and NKG2C genes in two New World monkey species. The project aims are to extract genetic material from monkey NK cells, isolate and identify the DNA sequence of the alternatively spliced versions of NKG2A and NKG2C, and compare these molecules to those in humans, chimpanzees and Old World monkeys. Data generated from this project will be used to predict which NKG2 splice variants are essential for NK cell function.

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