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ISRN Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 876203, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/876203
Review Article

The Role of Granulysin in Cancer Immunology

Department of Internal Medicine, Ichikawa General Hospital, Tokyo Dental College, 5-11-13 Sugano, Ichikawa 272-8513, Japan

Received 4 August 2011; Accepted 2 October 2011

Academic Editors: B. Stijlemans and A. B. Van Spriel

Copyright © 2012 Satoshi Okada and Tetsuo Morishita. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Granulysin is a cytotoxic granule expressed in cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells. Although its cytotoxic effect against a number of tumor cell lines has been demonstrated in vitro, recent studies with transgenic mice, and a number of clinical studies, have further established its significance in cancer immunology. Furthermore, granulysin-induced in vitro chemotaxis and activation of both human and mouse dendritic cells have been reported. Given the results in recent clinical studies, granulysin may offer a useful indicator in the prognosis of cancer. Taken together, an understanding of the mechanism by which granulysin destroys target cells would provide vital information in the development of new therapies for the treatment of this disease.