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Molecular mechanisms of biogenesis and exocytosis of cytotoxic granules

Abstract : Cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells are crucial for immune surveillance against virus-infected cells and tumour cells. Molecular studies of individuals with inherited defects that impair lymphocyte cytotoxic function have also highlighted the importance of cytotoxicity in the regulation and termination of immune responses. As discussed in this Review, characterization of these defects has contributed to our understanding of the key steps that are required for the maturation of cytotoxic granules and the secretion of their contents at the immunological synapse during target cell killing. This has revealed a marked similarity between cytotoxic granule exocytosis at the immunological synapse and synaptic vesicle exocytosis at the neurological synapse. We explore the possibility that comparison of these two kinetically and spatially regulated secretory pathways will provide clues to uncover additional effectors that regulate the cytotoxic function of lymphocytes.
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Geneviève de Saint Basile, Gaël Ménasché, Alain Fischer. Molecular mechanisms of biogenesis and exocytosis of cytotoxic granules. Nature Reviews Immunology, Nature Publishing Group, 2010, 10 (8), pp.568-579. ⟨10.1038/nri2803⟩. ⟨inserm-02440303⟩

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