First discovered on the natural killer (NK) cell, the cell surface inhibitory receptor sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin-7 (Siglec-7) is known for regulating many important biological activities. However, the detail regulatory mechanism for Siglec-7 expression in NK cells currently remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate how cell surface Siglec-7 expression is regulated and found that, in both NK cell lines and peripheral NK cells, transcription was the main regulatory step. Furthermore, when NK-92MI and peripheral NK cells were treated with DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor, the CpG island, with 9 CpG sites, in 5′ Siglec-7 promoter became noticeably hypomethylated, and Siglec-7 expression increased in both RNA transcript and surface protein. Within this CpG island, we identified both CpG 8 and CpG 9 as two key regulators responsible for Siglec-7 expression. Additionally, by using histone deacetylases (HDAC) inhibitor, butyric acid, we showed that Siglec-7 expression was also subjected to the histone modification. And a combined treatment with both 5-azacytidine and butyric acid showed an additive effect on Siglec-7 transcript expression in peripheral NK cells.
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