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Translation of Basic Research into Clinics: Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptors Genes in Autoimmune and Infectious Diseases

  • Authors: Aiello, Anna; Candore, Giuseppina; Accardi, Giulia; Caruso, Calogero; Colomba, Claudia; Duro, Giovanni; Gambino, Caterina Maria; Ligotti, Mattia Emanuela; Di Bona, Danilo
  • Publication year: 2018
  • Type: Review essay (rassegna critica) (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) regulate the activation of natural killer cells through their interaction with human leucocyte antigens (HLA). KIRs and HLA loci are highly polymorphic, and some of their combinations have been found to protect against viral infections or to predispose to autoimmune disorders. In particular, some activating KIRs profiles may be detrimental in autoimmune pathogenesis, and specific KIRs may be particularly aggressive in the clearance of different microorganisms, protecting individuals in the control of a given pathogen. So, considering that in the pathogenesis of many autoimmune disorders and infections innate immunity plays a key role, the recent development for KIRs characterization, diseases monitoring, and treatment becomes obvious. Here, we reviewed a growing body of evidence supporting the influence of KIRs variants and their interaction with ligands in the development of the main human autoimmune and viral diseases, highlighting the main applications in clinical practice.