Navigating Barriers: The Challenge of Directed Secretion at the Natural Killer Cell Lytic Immunological Synapse
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Natural killer (NK) cells have an inherent ability to recognize and destroy a wide array of cells rendered abnormal by stress or disease. NK cells can kill a targeted cell by forming a tight interface—the lytic immunological synapse. This represents a dynamic molecular arrangement that over time progresses through a series of steps to ultimately deliver the contents of specialized organelles known as lytic granules.
In order to mediate cytotoxicity, the NK cell faces the challenge of mobilizing the lytic granules, polarizing them to the targeted cell, facilitating their approximation to the NK cell membrane, and releasing their contents.
This review is focused upon the final steps in accessing function through the lytic immunological synapse.
KeywordsNK cell cytotoxicity myosin IIA immune synapse
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant R01-AI067946 (to J.S.O.). K.B.S. was supported by National Institutes of Health training grant T32-GM07229.
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