Actin Retrograde Flow Regulated by the Wiskott–Aldrich Syndrome Protein Drives the Natural Killer Cell Response

Batel Sabag, Moria Levy, Jessica Kivelevitz, Nataly Dashevsky, Aviad Ben-Shmuel, Abhishek Puthenveetil, Fatima Awwad, Mira Barda-Saad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Understanding the crosstalk between natural killer (NK) cells and the tumor microenvironment (TME) has enhanced the potential of exploiting the interplay between activation and inhibition of NK cells for immunotherapy. This interaction is crucial for understanding how tumor cells escape NK cell immune surveillance. NK cell dysfunction is regulated by two molecular mechanisms, downregulated activating receptor ligand expression on the tumor cells, and upregulated inhibitory signals delivered to NK cells. Recent studies demonstrated the role of mechanotransduction in modulating NK cell responses in the TME. The immunological synapse represents a functional interface between the NK cell and its target, regulated by Actin Retrograde Flow (ARF), which drives the adhesion molecules and receptors toward the central zone of the immunological synapse (IS). Here, we further characterize the role of ARF in controlling the immune response of NK cells, using CRISPR/cas9-mediated Wiskott–Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASp) gene silencing of NK cells. We demonstrate that WASp regulates ARF velocity, affecting the conformation and function of the key NK inhibitory regulator, SH2-domain containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-1 (SHP-1), and consequently, the NK cell response. Our results demonstrate the potential of modulating the biophysical and intracellular regulation of NK activation as a promising approach for improving immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3756
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • ARF
  • SHP-1
  • WASp
  • mechanotransduction
  • myosin IIA
  • natural killer cells


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