Grant Tucker with Dr. Pasi A. Janne (DFCI)
Granzymes, released by killer T-cells, have long been known to cause apoptotic cell death. Recent research, however, has shown that these potent proteins also contribute to an inflammatory form of cell death called pyroptosis. In this pathway, granzymes cut proteins called gasdermins, ultimately resulting in pyroptosis. My research focuses on the interplay between Granzyme M and Gasdermin E, which results in pyroptosis in human cells. I am studying if the same pathway is conserved in mouse cells, and how it can contribute to mouse tumor survival. This will require a range of experiments, from expression and purification of the proteins, to protein cleavage assays, and tumor models. Hopefully, data from these experiments will go on to prove the importance of Granzyme M and Gasdermin E in pyroptosis, and create a new target in the tumor therapy space.