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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 326; doi:10.3390/ijms17030326

Natural Killer Cells—An Epigenetic Perspective of Development and Regulation

Department of Molecular and Cellular Sports Medicine, Institute for Cardiovascular Research and Sports Medicine, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Muengersdorf 6, 50933 Cologne, Germany
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Academic Editor: Ritva Tikkanen
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 18 February 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 1 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Abstract

Based on their ability to recognize and eliminate various endo- and exogenous pathogens as well as pathological alterations, Natural Killer (NK) cells represent an important part of the cellular innate immune system. Although the knowledge about their function is growing, little is known about their development and regulation on the molecular level. Research of the past decade suggests that modifications of the chromatin, which do not affect the base sequence of the DNA, also known as epigenetic alterations, are strongly involved in these processes. Here, the impact of epigenetic modifications on the development as well as the expression of important activating and inhibiting NK-cell receptors and their effector function is reviewed. Furthermore, external stimuli such as physical activity and their influence on the epigenetic level are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: epigenetic; methylation; histone; miRNA; NK cell; natural killer cell; lymphocytes; exercise epigenetic; methylation; histone; miRNA; NK cell; natural killer cell; lymphocytes; exercise
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Schenk, A.; Bloch, W.; Zimmer, P. Natural Killer Cells—An Epigenetic Perspective of Development and Regulation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 326.

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