Granzyme B leakage-induced apoptosis is a crucial mechanism of cell death in nasal-type NK/T-cell lymphoma

Young Hyeh Ko, Sanghui Park, Heekyung Jin, Heesook Woo, Hyunseop Lee, Chaewha Park, Kihyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study aims to investigate the role of granzyme B in the apoptosis of nasal-type NK/T-cell lymphoma. Twenty-four nasal-type NK/T-cell lymphomas were examined by TdT-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP)-biotin nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay and immunohistochemical staining for active caspase 3, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP-1/p85)/p85, and Bcl-2. In addition, HANK-1 and NKL cell lines were analyzed using Western blot analysis. Immunoprecipitation was performed to identify the binding of granzyme B and intrinsic serpin proteinase inhibitor 9 (PI-9). To localize granzyme B, immunogold labeling and immunofluorescence staining were performed. The expression level of granzyme B in tumor tissue was correlated with the apoptosis rate (P=0.015), degree of necrosis (P=0.002), and the levels of active caspase 3 (P=0.036) and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP)-1/p85 (P=0.040). The granzyme B-positive HANK-1 cell line showed increased spontaneous cell death compared to the granzyme B-negative NKL cell line. The untreated HANK-1 cells released cytochrome c into the cytosol with cleavage of caspase 3 and PARP-1. Treatment with granzyme B inhibitor and caspase inhibitor decreased the cleavage of PARP-1. By performing immunogold labeling, granzyme B was identified within the cytolytic granules as well as in the cytosol. Confocal microscopy and immunoprecipitation assays confirmed the colocalization of PI-9 and granzyme B, which formed an SDS-resistant complex. These results suggested that granzyme B leakage induces cell death in NK/T-cell lymphomas via both caspase-dependent and -independent mechanisms, and this leads to the extensive necrosis that is commonly seen in NK/T-cell lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-250
Number of pages10
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by SBRI grants C-A3-201-1 and 2, and C-A3-202-3.


  • Apoptosis
  • Granzyme B
  • NK/T-cell lymphoma


Dive into the research topics of 'Granzyme B leakage-induced apoptosis is a crucial mechanism of cell death in nasal-type NK/T-cell lymphoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this