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The NK cell granule protein NKG7 regulates cytotoxic granule exocytosis and inflammation


Abstract

Immune-modulating therapies have revolutionized the treatment of chronic diseases, particularly cancer. However, their success is restricted and there is a need to identify new therapeutic targets. Here, we show that natural killer cell granule protein 7 (NKG7) is a regulator of lymphocyte granule exocytosis and downstream inflammation in a broad range of diseases. NKG7 expressed by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells played key roles in promoting inflammation during visceral leishmaniasis and malaria—two important parasitic diseases. Additionally, NKG7 expressed by natural killer cells was critical for controlling cancer initiation, growth and metastasis. NKG7 function in natural killer and CD8+ T cells was linked with their ability to regulate the translocation of CD107a to the cell surface and kill cellular targets, while NKG7 also had a major impact on CD4+ T cell activation following infection. Thus, we report a novel therapeutic target expressed on a range of immune cells with functions in different immune responses.

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