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J Fluoresc. 2014 Mar;24(2):465-71. doi: 10.1007/s10895-013-1314-7. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Detection of Cancer Cell Death Mediated by a Synthetic Granzyme B-like Peptide Fluorescent Conjugate and the same Peptide Binding in Bacteria.

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BioJENC, 340 East Parker Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803-0106, USA.
University Products, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.


Granzyme-mediated apoptosis, supported by pore-forming perforin, plays an important role in CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTL)-dependent cellular immunity protection against both cancer and viral infection. Quantitative and qualitative problems with CTL are potential contributing factors to disease progression. The feasibility of developing CTL-independent cellular immunity is desired but must first overcome the barrier of CTL-independent target cell recognition. Granzyme B with its strong pro-apoptotic activity in many different target cells is investigated for use in the CTL-independent cellular immunity approach, and granzyme B or its bioactive peptides without the enzymatic activity are more desirable for use. Native granzyme B with enzymatic activity is usually investigated in cancer cells for its mediation of apoptosis by detection of DNA fragmentation. Detection of cell death mediated by such peptides in cancer cells is needed to demonstrate the potential therapeutic purposes. We show with never-before-seen microscopic images using fluorescence microscopy that a synthetic granzyme B-like peptide fluorescent conjugate (GP1R) can: 1) mediate cell death of different cancer cells via membrane extrusion, 2) bind to constitutively expressed binding targets in different cancer cells and bacteria, and 3) promote bacterial phagocytosis. The putative binding targets may serve as a universal pathologic biomarker detectable by GP1R. Our data taken together demonstrate the potential applications of GP1R for use in CTL-independent target cell recognition and target cell death induction. It may lead to development of rapid targeted detection and new treatment of cancer, viral and bacterial infections. The new treatment may show mutual benefits for two or more diseases.


Bacteria; Cancer; Cell death; Fluorescence microscopy; Granzymes; Virus

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