The innate immune system uses a wide variety of pattern recognition receptors including TLRs, scavenger receptors, and lectins to identify potential pathogens. A carefully regulated balance between activation and inhibition must be kept to avoid detrimental and inappropriate inflammatory responses. In this study, we identify murine-paired Ig-like receptor (PIR)-B, and its human orthologs Ig-like transcript 2 and Ig-like transcript 5 as novel receptors for Staphylococcus aureus. PIR-B contains four ITIM motifs and is thought to be an inhibitory receptor. Expression of these receptors enables NIH3T3 cells to bind S. aureus. In mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages, masking of PIR-B by anti-PIR mAb or genetic deletion of PIR-B shows significantly impaired recognition of S. aureus and enhanced TLR-mediated inflammatory responses to the bacteria. These data suggest a novel mechanism for innate immune regulation by paired Ig-Iike receptor family members.
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