alexa Granzymes, cytotoxic granules and cell death: the early work of Dr. Jurg Tschopp.


Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy

Author(s): Trapani JA

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Abstract Within the powerful legacy left by Jurg Tschopp, we should not forget his early work that helped to elucidate the molecular pathways responsible for the clearance of virus-infected and transformed cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and natural killer (NK) cells. Jurg's skilful biochemical approach formed a firm platform upon which the work of so many other biochemists, cell biologists and immunologists would come to rely. Jurg coined the shorthand term 'granzyme' to denote the individual members of a family of serine proteases sequestered in and secreted from the cytotoxic granules of CTL/NK cells. He was also one of the first to describe the lytic properties of purified perforin and to postulate the synergy of perforin and granzymes, which we now know to underpin target cell apoptosis. Jurg was a major protagonist in the debate that raged throughout the 1980's and early 1990's on the physiological relevance of the 'granule exocytosis' pathway. Ultimately, resolving this issue led Jurg and his colleagues to even greater and impactful discoveries in the broader field of apoptosis research. Jurg Tschopp ranks with other pioneers, particularly Gideon Berke, Chris Bleackley, Pierre Golstein, Pierre Henkart and Eckhard Podack for making seminal discoveries on our understanding of how the immune system eliminates dangerous cells.
This article was published in Cell Death Differ and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy

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