Cell death: How a protein drives immune cells to suicide

For some pathogens, attack is the best form of defense -- they enter immune cells of the human body. However, if they are detected in their hidden niche, the infected cell kills itself to re-expose the pathogens. Scientists have now reported that a protein called gasdermin forms permeable pores in the cell membrane and thus triggers the suicide of the immune cell. The best hiding place often lies behind enemy lines, as many bacteria such as the pathogens responsible for tuberculosis or typhoid have realized. They invade immune cells and can survive there, well hidden, for some time. To eliminate such invaders, the host macrophages can initiate a suicide program. The research team has shown for the first time that a "death protein" perforates the cell membrane, resulting in macrophage bursting open. The re-exposed pathogens can then again be fought by the immune system.

Source : www.sciencedaily.com      2016/8/11 08:54

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