NKG2D ligands in tumor immunity: Two sides of a coin

Jinyu Zhang, Fahmin Basher, Jennifer D. Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The activating/co-stimulatory receptor NKG2D (natural-killer group 2, member D) is expressed on the surface of all human NK, NKT, CD8+ T, and subsets of γδ+ T cells. The significance of NKG2D function in tumor immunity has been well demonstrated in experimental animal models. However, the role of human NKG2D ligands in regulating tumor immunity and cancer prognosis had been controversial in the literature. In this review, we summarize the latest advancement, discuss the controversies, and present evidence that membrane-bound and soluble NKG2D ligands oppositely regulate tumor immunity. We also discuss new perspectives of targeting NKG2D ligands for cancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number00097
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Issue numberMAR
StatePublished - 2015


  • Cancer
  • NK cells
  • NKG2D ligands
  • T cells
  • Tumor immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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