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Nat Commun. 2013;4:1439. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2467.

Synaptobrevin2 is the v-SNARE required for cytotoxic T-lymphocyte lytic granule fusion.

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Department of Physiology, Saarland University, Building 59, 66421 Homburg, Germany.


Cytotoxic T lymphocytes kill virus-infected and tumorigenic target cells through the release of perforin and granzymes via fusion of lytic granules at the contact site, the immunological synapse. It has been postulated that this fusion process is mediated by non-neuronal members of the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor complex protein family. Here, using a synaptobrevin2-monomeric red fluorescence protein knock-in mouse we demonstrate that, surprisingly, the major neuronal v-SNARE synaptobrevin2 is expressed in cytotoxic T lymphocytes and exclusively localized on granzyme B-containing lytic granules. Cleavage of synaptobrevin2 by tetanus toxin or ablation of the synaptobrevin2 gene leads to a complete block of lytic granule exocytosis while leaving upstream events unaffected, identifying synaptobrevin2 as the v-SNARE responsible for the fusion of lytic granules at the immunological synapse.

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