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CTL Mediated Apoptosis

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The CTLs (Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes), also known as killer T-Cells are produced during cell-mediated immunity designed to remove body cells displaying "foreign" epitope, such as virus-infected cells, cells containing intracellular bacteria, and cancer cells with mutant surface proteins. The CTLs are able to kill these cells by inducing a programmed cell death known as apoptosis (Ref.1).

CTLs only respond to foreign antigen when it is presented bound to the MHC-I (Major Histocompatibility Complex Class-I) expressed on the surface of all cells. The CTLs contain granules composed of proteoglycans to which chemokines are complexed. These granules hold pore-forming proteins called perforins and proteolytic enzymes called granzymes in a protected state. When the TCR (T-Cell Receptor Complex) and CD8 of the CTL binds [...]


1.Desmetz C, Lin YL, Mettling C, Portalès P, Distinct roles of cytolytic effector molecules for antigen-restricted killing by CTL in vivo.
Janssen EM, Lemmens EE, Gour N, Reboulet RA, Green DR, Schoenberger SP, Pinkoski MJ.
Immunol Cell Biol. 2010 Oct;88(7):761-5.
2.Cell death mechanisms induced by cytotoxic lymphocytes.
Chávez-Galán L, Arenas-Del Angel MC, Zenteno E, Chávez R, Lascurain R.
Cell Mol Immunol. 2009 Feb;6(1):15-25.
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