Kamikaze cells

日期:2017-08-06 05:53:20 作者:柯攵 阅读:

A PROTEIN that is crucial for cell suicide might be a good target for cancer drugs. Immune cells known as T lymphocytes, which destroy infected or cancerous cells, normally self-destruct afterwards. But Peter Juo and his colleagues at Harvard University produced mutant T cells that failed to do so. These cells lacked the gene for caspase-8, a protein known to be involved in cell death. The team concludes that caspase-8 is necessary for T cells to respond to a signalling protein called Fas ligand, which initiates cell death (Current Biology, vol 8, p 1001). Some tumours fend off the immune system by making Fas ligand, causing T-cells to die when they try to attack. Juo says drugs that target caspase-8 might be able to stop this. “It’s a stretch, but it’s possible,