Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes with a refined ability to recognize transformed cells through a broad array of activating receptors in combination with stochastically expressed inhibitory receptors that recognize MHC-class I. Recent advances in NK cell biology have revealed a high degree of functional plasticity that can be attributed to dynamic cell-to-cell interactions in concert with transcriptional and epigenetic reprogramming. Here, we discuss how new insights into the adaptive behavior of NK cells pave the way for next generation cell therapy based on guided differentiation and selective expansion of particularly cytotoxic NK cell subsets.
- Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors
- NK cells