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How do we kill rogue cells?
Date:10/31/2010

powerful molecule. If perforin isn't working properly the body can't fight infected cells. And there is evidence from mouse studies, says Trapani, that defective perforin leads to an upsurge in malignancy, particularly leukaemia.

Perforin is also the culprit when the wrong cells are marked for elimination, either in autoimmune disease conditions, such as early onset diabetes, or in tissue rejection following bone marrow transplantation.

So the researchers are now investigating ways to boost perforin for more effective cancer protection and therapy for acute diseases such as cerebral malaria. And with the help of a $1 million grant from the Wellcome Trust they are working on potential inhibitors to suppress perforin and counter tissue rejection.


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Contact: Niall Byrne
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