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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003 Aug;15(4):498-503.

Phagocytosis: latex leads the way.

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  • 1Département de Pathologie et Biologie Cellulaire, Université de Montréal, CP 6128, Succ. centre ville, H3C 3J7, Montreal, Canada. michel.desjardins@umontreal.ca


Phagocytosis is the process that cells have evolved to internalise large particles such as mineral debris, which they store, or apoptotic cells and pathogens, which they have the capacity to kill and degrade. However, several important pathogens can suppress these killing functions and survive and multiply within phagosomes, causing disease. Recent advances in phagosome biology have been made possible largely by a model system that uses inert latex beads. The ability to purify latex bead-containing phagosomes has opened the door to allow comprehensive biochemical analyses and functional assays to study the molecular mechanisms governing phagosome function. These approaches have led to unique insights directly relevant for the understanding of the biology of intracellular pathogens and the ways by which they subvert their hosts.

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