Soluble recombinant proteins that comprise the extracellular part of a surface expressed receptor attached to the Fc region of an IgG antibody have facilitated the determination of ligand specificity for an array of immune system receptors. Among such receptors is the family of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) that recognize HLA class I ligands. These receptors, expressed on natural killer (NK) cells and T cells, play important roles in both immune defense and placental development in early pregnancy. Here we describe a method for the production of two domain KIR–Fc fusion proteins using baculovirus infected insect cells. This method is more scalable than traditional mammalian cell expression systems and produces efficiently folded proteins that carry posttranslational modifications found in native KIR. We also describe a multiplex binding assay using the Luminex platform that determines the avidity and specificity of two domain KIR–Fc for a panel of microbeads, each coated with one of 97 HLA class I allotypes. This assay is simple to perform, and represents a major improvement over the assays used previously, which were limited in the number of KIR and HLA class I combinations that could be assayed at any one time. The results obtained from this assay can be used to predict the response of NK cell and T cells when their KIR recognize HLA class I.
Journal of Immunological Methods – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2015
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