Molecular basis for growth factor surveillance in natural killer cells

Project Details

Many tumours secrete Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-D to promote tumour growth. NK cells have evolved the activating ITAM receptor NKp44 to sense the expression of PDGF-D and trigger the secretion of cytokines that halt tumour growth. An alternatively spliced NKp44 isoform encodes an ‘ITIM’ that is predicted to be inhibitory and is associated with poor survival in cancer. Tumours may induce this inhibitory NKp44 form to dampen NK cell function as a form of immune evasion. Alex’s group is determining the functions of the different NKp44 isoforms and how they impact NK cell surveillance of cancers expressing PDGF-D.


Dr Patrick Constantinescu, Research Officer

Alexander James Sedgwick, Masters student

Yuhan Sun, Masters student

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Group

Barrow laboratory: Tissue immunosurveillance strategies

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology, Cancer

School Research Themes

Cancer in Biomedicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Microbiology and Immunology

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