Journal article

HYPOTHESIS - CYTOTOXIC LYMPHOCYTE GRANULE SERINE PROTEASES ACTIVATE TARGET-CELL ENDONUCLEASES TO TRIGGER APOPTOSIS

MJ SMYTH, KA BROWNE, KYT THIA, VA APOSTOLIDIS, MH KERSHAW, JA TRAPANI

Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology | BLACKWELL SCIENCE | Published : 1994

Abstract

Upon interaction with target cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells vectorially secrete highly specialized cytoplasmic granules containing perforin and a family of serine proteases (granzymes). This granule exocytosis mechanism of cytolysis is of patho-physiological importance, and usually results in target cell DNA fragmentation. Neither perforin nor granzymes possess inherent nuclease activity, but in combination they can induce target cell apoptosis. Perforin forms transmembrane pores in the target cell, thereby enabling granzymes to access target cell substrates. The target cell substrates of granzymes are unknown, but granzyme A binding and cleavage of the nuclear shutt..

View full abstract