Research objectives and content
NK cells express on their surface receptors for MHC class I molecules that do not only function as Inhibitory receptors. In fact, crosslinking of these MHC specific NK receptors (Killer-cell Activatory Receptors: KAR), results in early events, such as Ca2+ mobilization and late effector functions, such as induction of cytotoxicity and cytokine production. The aim of my proposal is to investigate the mechanisms that regulate the activation of NK cells through KAR. In particular, I will attempt to perform the molecular cloning of KARAP (KAR-Associated Proteins) that are likely involved in signal transduction of KAR. Subsequently, the elucidation of KARAP structure will allow the study of KARAP functions. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
My project is part of a collaboration on NK receptors for MHC class I molecules between the laboratory directed by Prof. A. Moretta in Italy and the one directed by Prof. E. Vivier in France. Since The Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy has a long experience in signal transduction, I will easily conduct my project and I will be able to learn a highly specialized techniques than can be very useful for my professional experience.