Molecular characterization of a novel immune receptor restricted to the monocytic lineage.
Homology basic local alignment search tool search was conducted using a sequence encoding for a novel inhibitory receptor (IREM-1) cloned in our laboratory and a previously described homologous sequence termed CMRF-35. On the basis of this information, we cloned a full length cDNA corresponding to a novel member of this family, termed immune receptor expressed by myeloid cells 2 (IREM-2). The gene, located in chromosome 17q25.1, encodes for a protein of 205 aa that contains an extracellular region comprising an Ig-like domain and a transmembrane region with a positively charged amino acid residue (lysine), that predicted its putative association with an adapter molecule. Indeed, the interaction between IREM-2 and DAP-12 was confirmed in transfected COS-7 cells. By generating specific Abs and using bone marrow and PBMCs, we observed that IREM-2 expression appeared to be restricted to mature hemopoietic cells of the monocytic and myeloid dendritic cell lineages. In vitro differentiation to macrophages or immature dendritic cells down-regulated IREM-2 expression. Upon engagement with the specific mAbs, IREM-2 expressed in rat basophilic leukemia cells together with DAP-12, induced NFAT transcriptional activity; moreover, IREM-2 engagement on monocytes induced TNF-alpha production. Taken together, our results indicate that IREM-2 is a novel activating receptor of the Ig-superfamily in the monocytic lineage.