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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1999 Mar-Apr;31(3-4):415-30.

Phospholipases and phagocytosis: the role of phospholipid-derived second messengers in phagocytosis.

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Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Albany Medical College, NY 12208, USA.


Phagocytosis, the process by which leukocytes recognize and destroy invading pathogens, is essential for host defense. The binding of foreign organisms to phagocytic leukocytes initiates a complex signaling cascade which ultimately results in the entrapment and destruction of the pathogen. The signal transduction pathway mediating phagocytosis is the subject of intense investigation and is known to include protein tyrosine kinases, GTP-binding proteins, protein kinase C (PKC), actin polymerization and membrane movement. A rapidly expanding body of evidence suggests that phospholipases play an integral role in phagocytosis by generating essential second messengers. Here we review the data linking activation of phospholipase A2 (PLA2), phospholipase C (PLC) phospholipase D (PLD), and phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase (PI(3)K) to antibody (IgG)-mediated phagocytosis. Evidence is presented that (1) PLA2-derived arachidonic acid (AA) stimulates NADPH oxidase and membrane redistribution during phagocytosis, (2) the inositol-3,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) and diacylglycerol (DAG) products of PLC activate NADPH oxidase and PKC, and (3) sequential activation of PLD and phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase may provide an alternative pathway for generation of DAG. Additionally, considerable evidence exists that wortmannin, a PI(3)K inhibitor, depresses phagocytosis. This finding is discussed in the context of the extensive effects PI(3)K products have on endocytosis and exocytosis and the potential role of membrane redistribution in phagocytosis. Finally, a model is presented which integrates data obtained from a variety of phagocytic systems and illustrates potential interactions that may exist between phospholipase-derived second messengers and signaling events required for phagocytosis.

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