Granulysin-mediated tumor rejection in transgenic mice

Lisa P. Huang, Shu Chen Lyu, Carol Clayberger, Alan M. Krensky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Granulysin (GNLY) is a cytolytic molecule expressed by human CTL and NK cells with activity against a variety of tumors and microbes, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although the molecular mechanism of GNLY-induced apoptosis of Jurkat T cells is well defined in vitro, no direct evidence for its in vivo effects has been demonstrated. Because there is no murine homologue of GNLY, we generated mice expressing GNLY using a bacterial artiicial chromosome containing the human GNLY gene and its 5′ and 3′ flanking regions. GNLY is expressed in leukocytes from transgenic mice with similar kinetics as in PBMC from humans: GNLY is constitutively expressed in NK cells and, following stimulation through the TCR, appears in T lymphocytes 8-10 days after activation. Both forms of GNLY (9 and 15 kDa) are produced by activated T cells, whereas the 15-kDa form predominates in freshly isolated NK cells from transgenic animals. GNLY mRNA is highest in spleen, with detectable expression in thymus and lungs, and minimal expression in heart, kidney, liver, muscle, intestine, and brain. Allospeciftc cell lines generated from GNLY transgenic animals showed enhanced killing of target cells. In vivo effects of GNLY were evaluated using the syngeneic T lymphoma tumor C6VL. GNLY transgenic mice survived significantly longer than nontransgenic littermates in response to a lethal tumor challenge. These findings demonstrate for the first time an in vivo effect of GNLY and suggest that .GNLY may prove a useful therapeutic modality for the treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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