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Mol Biol Cell. 2008 Mar;19(3):1241-51. Epub 2007 Dec 27.

RNA interference in J774 macrophages reveals a role for coronin 1 in mycobacterial trafficking but not in actin-dependent processes.

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  • 1Biozentrum, University of Basel, 4056 Basel, Switzerland.


Macrophages are crucial for innate immunity, apoptosis, and tissue remodeling, processes that rely on the capacity of macrophages to internalize and process cargo through phagocytosis. Coronin 1, a member of the WD repeat protein family of coronins specifically expressed in leukocytes, was originally identified as a molecule that is recruited to mycobacterial phagosomes and prevents the delivery of mycobacteria to lysosomes, allowing these to survive within phagosomes. However, a role for coronin 1 in mycobacterial pathogenesis has been disputed in favor for its role in mediating phagocytosis and cell motility. In this study, a role for coronin 1 in actin-mediated cellular processes was addressed using RNA interference in the murine macrophage cell line J774. It is shown that the absence of coronin 1 in J774 macrophages expressing small interfering RNA constructs specific for coronin 1 does not affect phagocytosis, macropinocytosis, cell locomotion, or regulation of NADPH oxidase activity. However, in coronin 1-negative J774 cells, internalized mycobacteria were rapidly transferred to lysosomes and killed. Therefore, these results show that in J774 cells coronin 1 has a specific role in modulating phagosome-lysosome transport upon mycobacterial infection and that it is dispensable for most F-actin-mediated cytoskeletal rearrangements.

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