Research NewsBiochemistry

Close-Up of a Killer

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5285, pp. 176-177
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5285.176


After a 12-year effort, scientists have finally captured a detailed image of the business end of the immune system's T cells, which ferret out and mark for destruction cancerous and infected cells. The La Jolla, California-based team has also caught a glimpse of how the T cell latches onto an infected cell. These results, published on (209), should eventually help drug designers tailor new compounds to promote or, in some cases, block this crucial latching-on process.