SNARE-mediated perforin and cytokine release in NK cells (2011–2013)
Cytotoxic cells release both perforin for cell-cell killing and cytokines in immunity and defence. While perforin is released from granules fusing at immune synapses, cytokines are trafficked separately and released circumferentially in NK cells. Our studies will determine how different membrane fusion complexes -SNAREs - regulate the the specific fusion of granules and cytokine carriers at the cell surface and on endosomes. Fluorescence imaging coupled with siRNA knockdowns and knockout mouse lines will be used to identify SNAREs required for secretion and cell killing. The findings will drive a new understanding of different secretory pathways contributing to immune defence and pathway dysfunction in disease.