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J Immunol. 2000 Nov 1;165(9):5186-91.

Nonopsonic phagocytosis of Mycobacterium kansasii by human neutrophils depends on cholesterol and is mediated by CR3 associated with glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins.

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Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5089, Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale, Toulouse, France.


Receptors involved in the phagocytosis of microorganisms under nonopsonic conditions have been little studied in neutrophils. Complement receptor type 3 (CR3) is a pattern recognition receptor able to internalize zymosan and C3bi-coated particles. We report that Abs directed against CR3 strongly inhibited nonopsonic phagocytosis of Mycobacterium kansasii in human neutrophils. In these cells CR3 has been found associated with several GPI-anchored proteins localized in cholesterol-rich microdomains (rafts) of the plasma membrane. Cholesterol sequestration by nystatin, filipin, or beta-cyclodextrin as well as treatment of neutrophils with phosphatidylinositol phospholipase C to remove GPI-anchored proteins from the cell surface markedly inhibited phagocytosis of M. kansasii, without affecting phagocytosis of zymosan or serum-opsonized M. kansasii. Abs directed against several GPI-anchored proteins inhibited phagocytosis of M. kansasii, but not of zymosan. N:-acetyl-D-glucosamine, which is known to disrupt interactions between CR3 and GPI proteins, also strongly diminished phagocytosis of these mycobacteria. In conclusion, phagocytosis of M. kansasii involved CR3, GPI-anchored receptors, and cholesterol. In contrast, phagocytosis of zymosan or opsonized particles involved CR3, but not cholesterol or GPI proteins. We propose that CR3, when associated with a GPI protein, relocates in cholesterol-rich domains where M. kansasii are internalized. When CR3 is not associated with a GPI protein, it remains outside of these domains and mediates phagocytosis of zymosan and opsonized particles, but not of M. kansasii.

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