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EMBO J. 2007 Jan 24;26(2):313-24.

LAMP proteins are required for fusion of lysosomes with phagosomes.

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  • 1Division of Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.


Lysosome-associated membrane proteins 1 and 2 (LAMP-1 and LAMP-2) are delivered to phagosomes during the maturation process. We used cells from LAMP-deficient mice to analyze the role of these proteins in phagosome maturation. Macrophages from LAMP-1- or LAMP-2-deficient mice displayed normal fusion of lysosomes with phagosomes. Because ablation of both the lamp-1 and lamp-2 genes yields an embryonic-lethal phenotype, we were unable to study macrophages from double knockouts. Instead, we reconstituted phagocytosis in murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) by transfection of FcgammaIIA receptors. Phagosomes formed by FcgammaIIA-transfected MEFs obtained from LAMP-1- or LAMP-2- deficient mice acquired lysosomal markers. Remarkably, although FcgammaIIA-transfected MEFs from double-deficient mice ingested particles normally, phagosomal maturation was arrested. LAMP-1 and LAMP-2 double-deficient phagosomes acquired Rab5 and accumulated phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate, but failed to recruit Rab7 and did not fuse with lysosomes. We attribute the deficiency to impaired organellar motility along microtubules. Time-lapse cinematography revealed that late endosomes/lysosomes as well as phagosomes lacking LAMP-1 and LAMP-2 had reduced ability to move toward the microtubule-organizing center, likely precluding their interaction with each other.

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