MICA and MICB are human inducible MHC class I-related glycoproteins expressed by stressed and malignant cells and serve as ligands for the NKG2D receptor (NKG2D receptor) on natural killer (NK) cells (natural killer cell activation) and T cells thereby stimulating innate and adaptive immune responses.
Human MIC molecules are encoded within the MHC on the short arm of chromosome 6. The MIC gene family comprises six genes (MICA to MICF) of which only MICA and MICB are functional, whereas MICC to MICF constitutes pseudogenes. MICA and MICB are tandem genes located between the HLA-Bgene and the BAT1 locus at the transition from the MHC class I to the class III region. The MICA locus is highly polymorphic with 86 alleles known to date. MICA*08 is by far the most frequent allele encoding for a MICA protein with a truncated cytoplasmic domain due to a frameshift mutation. MICA and MICB...