Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Jul;1833(7):1603-11. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2012.11.016. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Calcium, cancer and killing: the role of calcium in killing cancer cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells.

Author information

Department of Biophysics, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany.


Killing cancer cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and by natural killer (NK) cells is of vital importance. Cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis depend on the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, and the expression of numerous ion channels with the ability to control intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations has been correlated with cancer. A rise of intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations is also required for efficient CTL and NK cell function and thus for killing their targets, in this case cancer cells. Here, we review the data on Ca(2+)-dependent killing of cancer cells by CTL and NK cells. In addition, we discuss emerging ideas and present a model how Ca(2+) may be used by CTL and NK cells to optimize their cancer cell killing efficiency. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 12th European Symposium on Calcium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center