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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005 Feb;8(1):74-82.

Immune control of phagosomal bacteria by p47 GTPases.

Author information

  • Section of Microbial Pathogenesis, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 295 Congress Avenue, New Haven, CT 06536, USA. john.macmicking@yale.edu


Sequestered from the action of complement, antibody and lytic peptides, phagosomal pathogens pose a unique problem for the innate immune system both in terms of detection and disposal. An immunologically induced 47-kDa (p47) GTPase family recruited to nascent phagosomes (PGs) has provided new insights into how vertebrates deal with facultative bacteria occupying a vacuolar niche. Research over the past 2 years in particular has identified several molecular determinants that underlie the membrane trafficking functions of LRG-47 and other p47 GTPases as part of a PG remodeling program. When coupled to signals issuing from pathogen-specific Toll-like receptors, the p47 proteins may constitute a novel sensory system enlisted by mammals, birds and fish to decode the language of immune recognition against this particular class of infectious agents.

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