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Nat Cell Biol. 2000 Oct;2(10):E191-6.

Function of Rho family proteins in actin dynamics during phagocytosis and engulfment.

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Centre d'Immunologie INSERM-CNRS de Marseille-Luminy, Case 906, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France.


Phagocytosis is the uptake of large particles by cells by a mechanism that is based on local rearrangement of the actin microfilament cytoskeleton. In higher organisms, phagocytic cells are essential for host defence against invading pathogens, and phagocytosis contributes to inflammation and the immune response. In addition, engulfment, defined as the phagocytic clearance of cell corpses generated by programmed cell death or apoptosis, has an essential role in tissue homeostasis. Although morphologically distinct phagocytic events can be observed depending on the type of surface receptor engaged, work over the past two years has revealed the essential underlying role of Rho family proteins and their downstream effectors in controlling actin dynamics during phagocytosis.

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