The killing activity of natural killer cells is largely regulated by the binding of class I human leukocyte antigen cognate ligands to killer cell immunoglobulin - like receptor proteins. The killer cell immunoglobulin - like receptor gene - complex contains genes that activate and others that inhibit the killing state of natural killer cells depending on the binding of specific human leukocyte antigen cognate ligands. It has been suggested in previous publications that activating human leukocyte antigen/killer - cell immunoglobulin - like receptor complexes are increased in people with autism. We present data, which suggests that an activating cB01/tA01 killer cell immunoglobulin - like receptor gene - content haplotype and the cognate ligand human leukocyte antigen - C1k that activates this haplotype is significantly increased in autism. This is an important observation suggesting that the interaction between two proteins encoded on different chromosomes increases natural killer cell killing in autism.
Torres, A., & Westover, J. (2016). A Killer Immunoglobulin - Like Receptor Gene - Content Haplotype and A Cognate Human Leukocyte Antigen Ligand are Associated with Autism. Autism-Open Access, 06(02). https://doi.org/10.4172/2165-7890.1000171