Molecular characterization of human CD94: a type II membrane glycoprotein related to the C-type lectin superfamily.
Natural killer (NK) cells preferentially express several genes of the C-type lectin superfamily which have been implicated in the regulation of NK cell function. We demonstrate that CD94 is a type II membrane protein encoded by a unique gene of the C-type lectin superfamily. While homology of CD94 with the NK cell-associated NKR-P1 and NKG2 C-type lectin genes is limited to the structural motifs conserved in the carbohydrate recognition domain, all of these genes are on human chromosome 12, the syntenic of mouse chromosome 6, where genes of the NK complex (NKR-P1 and Ly-49) are located. An unexpected feature of CD94 is the essential absence of a cytoplasmic domain, implying that association with other receptors may be necessary for the function of this molecule.