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Involvement of granule proteins in T-cell-mediated cytolysis
Natural Immunity and Cell Growth Regulation
Cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL) and large granular lymphocytes contain dense cytoplasmic granules which, when isolated, are lytic for a variety of target cells. Granule proteins are released from the effector cell upon target cell interaction, further suggesting that they play a role in the cytolytic mechanism. Major proteins in CTL granules are a family of serine esterases (granzymes) and a pore-forming protein called perforin (cytolysin). Despite structural similarities between functionally conserved regions of perforin and the ninth component of complement (C9), these two lytic molecules are clearly distinct in their mode of target cell recognition. Perforin, unlike C9, is not dependent on a protein receptor molecule but binds to the target cell membrane via phosphorylcholine in a Ca2(+)-dependent manner. Here, we discuss the stimulus-secretion model for T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity with respect to our current understanding of perforin and the granzyme proteases.
Animals Cytoplasmic Granules/*immunology Cytotoxicity, Immunologic/immunology Granzymes Humans *Membrane Glycoproteins Membrane Proteins/immunology Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins Serine Endopeptidases/immunology T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/*immunology
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