Author(s): Mujaj SA, Spanevello MM, Gandhi MK, Nourse JP
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Abstract Natural Killer (NK) cells are important effector cells in both the innate and adaptive immune responses. Although they were identified almost 40 years ago, our understanding of how and where NK cells develop is rudimentary. In particular, we have only a limited understanding of the signaling pathways that need to be activated to cause NK cell commitment and maturation. Knowledge of this process is important as disruptions can lead to the development of highly aggressive NK cell malignancies. In this review, we discuss the known molecular mechanisms that trigger NK cell commitment, prompt them to mature and finally allow them to become functional killers. Known disruptions in this developmental process, and how they may contribute to malignancy, are also addressed.
This article was published in Am J Blood Res
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion