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Blood. 2013 Jun 6;121(23):4672-83. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-08-453738. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

LAMP1/CD107a is required for efficient perforin delivery to lytic granules and NK-cell cytotoxicity.

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Receptor Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Immunogenetics, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.


Secretory lysosomes of natural killer (NK) cells, containing perforin and granzymes, are indispensable for NK-cell cytotoxicity because their release results in the induction of target-cell apoptosis. Lysosome-associated membrane protein (LAMP) 1/CD107a is used as a marker for NK-cell degranulation, but its role in NK-cell biology is unknown. We show that LAMP1 silencing causes inhibition of NK-cell cytotoxicity, as LAMP1 RNA interference (RNAi) cells fail to deliver granzyme B to target cells. Reduction of LAMP1 expression affects the movement of lytic granules and results in decreased levels of perforin, but not granzyme B, in the granules. In LAMP1 RNAi cells, more perforin is retained outside of lysosomal compartments in trans-Golgi network-derived transport vesicles. Disruption of expression of LAMP1 binding partner, adaptor protein 1 (AP-1) sorting complex, also causes retention of perforin in the transport vesicles and inhibits cytotoxicity, indicating that the interaction between AP-1 sorting complex and LAMP1 on the surface of the transport vesicles is important for perforin trafficking to lytic granules. We conclude that the decreased level of perforin in lytic granules of LAMP1-deficient cells, combined with disturbed motility of the lytic granules, leads to the inability to deliver apoptosis-inducing granzyme B to target cells and to inhibition of NK-cell cytotoxicity.

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