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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A role for heat shock protein 27 in CTL-mediated cell death.

CTL exocytosis of granules containing perforin and granzyme proteases induces apoptotic cell death. Either granzyme A or B can act with perforin to trigger apoptosis. Granzyme B activates a ubiquitous apoptotic cascade induced by caspase cleavage, but the granzyme A pathway is largely unknown. Using affinity chromatography with recombinant mutant inactive granzyme A, we previously isolated two granzyme A-binding proteins, PHAP (putative HLA-associated protein) I and II. PHAP II, a substrate of granzyme A, is degraded within minutes of CTL attack. Two additional cytoplasmic proteins of 27 and 53 kDa bind strongly to the mutant granzyme A column, requiring 6 M urea to elute. Sequencing identified these as the monomer and dimer of hsp27, a small heat shock protein up-regulated by stress and cellular activation. Hsp27 coprecipitates with granzyme A from cytoplasmic lysates and is not a substrate of the enzyme. Hsp27 translocates to the detergent-insoluble fraction of target cells and relocalizes from diffuse cytoplasmic staining to long filamentous fibers, especially concentrated in a perinuclear region, within minutes of CTL attack. Hsp27 may participate in morphologic changes during granule-mediated lysis. Low or absent levels of hsp27 expression in T lymphocytes, even after heat shock, may play a role in CTL resistance to granule-mediated lysis.[1]


  1. A role for heat shock protein 27 in CTL-mediated cell death. Beresford, P.J., Jaju, M., Friedman, R.S., Yoon, M.J., Lieberman, J. J. Immunol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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