STRUBI and the WTCHG Microscopy Core publish a paper establishing a new paradigm for the biological action of the cytotoxic cell protein perforin

The human protein perforin is central to 'immune surveillance' whereby white blood cells patrol the body. These 'natural killer' cells use perforin to deliver a signal to virally infected and potentially cancerous cells, causing them to initiate a suicidal response. Researchers in the Division of Structural Biology studying perforin have discovered that in addition to forming pores in cell membranes, the protein can cause a unique form of 'endocytosis' (cell eating) whereby the suicidal signal is taken inside target cells without damaging the outer cell membrane.

Read more: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/12/09/1107473108.full.pdf+html