Non-classical major histocompatibility class Ib molecule postulated to play a role in immune surveillance, immune tolerance and inflammation. Functions in two forms, as a heterotrimeric complex with B2M/beta-2 microglobulin and a peptide (peptide-bound HLA-F-B2M) and as an open conformer (OC) devoid of peptide and B2M (peptide-free OC). In complex with B2M, presents non-canonical self-peptides carrying post-translational modifications, particularly phosphorylated self-peptides. Peptide-bound HLA-F-B2M acts as a ligand for LILRB1 inhibitory receptor, a major player in maternal-fetal tolerance. Peptide-free OC acts as a ligand for KIR3DS1 and KIR3DL2 receptors. Upon interaction with activating KIR3DS1 receptor on NK cells, triggers NK cell degranulation and anti-viral cytokine production. Through interaction with KIR3DL2 receptor, inhibits NK and T cell effector functions. May interact with other MHC class I OCs to cross-present exogenous viral, tumor or minor histompatibility antigens to cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, triggering effector and memory responses. May play a role in inflammatory responses in the peripheral nervous system. Through interaction with KIR3DL2, may protect motor neurons from astrocyte-induced toxicity.