Editors' ChoiceCancer

Natural-born killers for tumors

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Science Signaling  07 Apr 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 371, pp. ec86
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aab2748

Cancer immunotherapies work by activating cytotoxic lymphocytes, usually CD8+ T cells, to kill tumors. But adding new approaches to the arsenal might boost these therapies. Deng et al. now report that natural killer (NK) cells, another type of lymphocyte, can also kill tumors (see the Perspective by Steinle and Cerwenka). Mouse tumors secrete a protein called MULT1 that binds to a protein called NKG2D on the surface of NK cells. This activates NK cells and signals them to kill the tumor cells. Treating tumor-bearing mice with soluble MULT1 caused their NK cells to reject the tumors.

W. Deng, B. G. Gowen, L. Zhang, L. Wang, S. Lau, A. Iannello, J. Xu, T. L. Rovis, N. Xiong, D. H. Raulet, A shed NKG2D ligand that promotes natural killer cell activation and tumor rejection. Science 348, 136–139 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]

A. Steinle, A. Cerwenka, MULT1plying cancer immunity. Science 348, 45–46 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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