CTL granules: evolution of vesicles essential for combating virus infections

Immunol Today. 1999 Aug;20(8):351-6. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5699(99)01488-7.


Viral strategies for escaping apoptosis have co-evolved with the immune system, resulting in a complex balance of pro- and anti-apoptotic forces in virus-infected cells under attack by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Here, Joseph Trapani and colleagues argue that CTL cytolytic granules are the principal apoptotic means of eliminating viruses and possess multiple independent mechanisms to counter the viral anti-apoptotic machinery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • Caspases / immunology
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / immunology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Granzymes
  • Humans
  • Serine Endopeptidases / immunology
  • Serpins / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / pathology


  • Serpins
  • GZMB protein, human
  • Granzymes
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Caspases