Shedding MICA/B Antigens
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I chain-related protein A (MICA) and B (MICB) are typically only expressed on cells undergoing stress, such as infection or DNA alteration. These markers are expressed on and can be shed by tumor cells, and act as ligands for receptors like NKG2D on natural killer (NK) cells and NKT cells. Cytotoxic function of NK cells is controlled by the stimulation of a variety of negative and positive receptors; when activation of positive receptors like NKG2D exceeds a threshold, NK cells release perforin and reactive oxygen species to destroy the target cell.
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