Mechanisms controlling granule-mediated cytolytic activity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes

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Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) play a critical role in immunity against viruses and cancer. The antigen receptor or T-cell receptor (TCR) on CTL determines the specificity toward target cells. The CD8 co-receptor functions in concert with the TCR to enhance TCR-mediated signaling, accounting for the remarkable sensitivity and swift signaling kinetics of the CTL response. The latter ensures efficient delivery and release of lytic granules, resulting in sensitive and rapid destruction of target cells.

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