Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes that can mediate lysis of certain tumor cells and virus-infected cells without previous activation. They can also regulate specific humoral and cell-mediated immunity. NK cells preferentially express several calcium-dependent (C-type) lectins, which have been implicated in the regulation of NK cell function. This gene is a member of the NKG2 group of genes that are expressed primarily in natural killer (NK) cells. These family members encode transmembrane proteins that are characterized by a type II membrane orientation (have an extracellular C-terminus) and the presence of a C-type lectin domain. This family member is located within the NK complex, a region that contains several C-type lectin genes preferentially expressed in NK cells. Read-through transcription exists between this gene and the downstream KLRK1 (killer cell lectin-like receptor subfamily K, member 1) family member.