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Nk cells have enzymes that attack foreign, virus infected, or cancerous cells? Is that how they work?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Daniel McGee
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: NK cells

Yes, natural killer cells are part of the innate immune system. Unlike other immune cells, they do not have to have prior exposure to an invader in order to attack it.
They do release enzymes which essentially poke holes into the cell they are trying to destroy. They release their enzyimes into these holes. The enzymes travel to the center of the cell and cause it to explode, known as apoptosis.

In brief: NK cells

Yes, natural killer cells are part of the innate immune system. Unlike other immune cells, they do not have to have prior exposure to an invader in order to attack it.
They do release enzymes which essentially poke holes into the cell they are trying to destroy. They release their enzyimes into these holes. The enzymes travel to the center of the cell and cause it to explode, known as apoptosis.
Dr. Daniel McGee
Dr. Daniel McGee
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