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Natural killer and T cytotoxic lymphocytes can kill tumor and virus-infected cells by means of pore-forming proteins that are released from granules of the killer lymphocytes. Granule-mediated lysis of cells is under the control of a newly discovered family of serine-dependent proteases that are termed granzymes that are bound in the granules. My laboratory was among the first to recognize the role of serine proteases in killing (1980) and is now characterizing the purified proteases, sequencing their genes, defining their natural substrates, and determining their role in lymphocyte-mediated killing.