The bacteriolytic activity of CTL is mediated by granulysin, which has been reported to kill intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis in dendritic cells (DC) with high efficiency. Despite that crucial effector function, the killing mechanism and uptake of granulysin into target cells have not been well investigated. To this end we analyzed granulysin binding, uptake, and the subsequent lysis of intracellular Listeria innocua in human DC. Recombinant granulysin was found to be actively taken up by DC into early endosomal Ag 1-labeled endosomes, as detected by immunofluorescence. Further transfer to L. innocua-containing phagosomes was indicated by colocalization of bacterial DNA with granulysin. After uptake of granulysin by DC, lysis of L. innocua was found in a dose-dependent manner. Uptake as well as lysis of Listeria were inhibited after blocking endocytosis by lowering the temperature and by cholesterol depletion of DC. Colocalization of granulysin with cholera toxin during uptake showed binding to and internalization via lipid rafts. In contrast to cholera toxin, which was targeted to the perinuclear compartment, granulysin was found exclusively in endosomal-phagosomal vesicles. Lipid raft microdomains, enriched in the immunological synapse, may thus enhance uptake and transfer of granulysin into bacterial infected host cells.