The 'NK-triggering-antigen regulator' (Nktar) gene is a locus identified in the C57BL/6 genome which regulates the ability of unlabeled activated Con A blasts to compete for recognition of labeled syngeneic Con A blasts by BALB/c NK cells. Linkage analysis on Con A blasts from (BALB/c x CByB6F1) N2 backcross progeny for (1) relative level of competitive inhibition of BALB/c NK lysis of syngeneic Con A blasts and (2) genotypes at polymorphic microsatellite markers distributed throughout the mouse genome mapped the Nktar gene locus to a 5-cM region of chromosome 10 containing the interferon- γ receptor (Ifngr) gene locus. N2 Con A blasts exhibited an inverse relationship between (a) their cell surface density of IFN-γR molecules detected by FACS with monoclonal anti-CD119 and (b) their cold target inhibition of BALB/c NK self-reactivity. Con A blasts from Ifngr(-1-) knockout mice showed a relatively high level of inhibition of BALB/c NK self- lysis and a relatively low level of class I MHC, which were both reversed by transient transfection with the Ifngr gene. Sequencing studies showed that Balb/c Ifngr encodes a Gly69 whereas C57BL/6 Ifngr encodes Glu69 due to a difference at nucleotide 284. Sequencing studies of N2 progeny demonstrated 100% concordance between their Nktar inhibitory phenotype and their Ifngr genotype. These findings demonstrate that the Nktar and Ifngr loci are identical. They further indicate that polymorphisms related to the Ifngr locus and affecting expression of cell surface IFN-γR may underlie genetic differences in the availability of NK-triggering antigens (NKTAgs) to recognition by self-reactive BALB/c NK cells by differentially affecting the ability of IFN-γ/R molecules to mediate up-regulation of NKTAg-masking class I molecules. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
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