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Nat Immunol. 2003 Nov;4(11):1111-20. Epub 2003 Oct 19.

Adaptor protein 3-dependent microtubule-mediated movement of lytic granules to the immunological synapse.

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Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3RE, UK.


Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is a rare autosomal recessive disease characterized by platelet defects and oculocutaneous albinism. Individuals with HPS type 2 (HPS2) lack the cytosolic adaptor protein 3 (AP-3) involved in lysosomal sorting, and are also immunodeficient. Here we characterize an HPS2 mutation and demonstrate that AP-3 deficiency leads to a loss of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated cytotoxicity. Although the lysosomal protein CD63 was mislocalized to the plasma membrane, perforin and granzymes were correctly localized to the lytic granules in AP-3-deficient CTLs. However, the lytic granules of AP-3-deficient CTLs were enlarged and were unable to move along microtubules and dock within the secretory domain of the immunological synapse. These data show that AP-3 is essential for polarized secretion from CTLs.

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