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J Biol Chem. 2002 May 10;277(19):17320-6. Epub 2002 Feb 1.

Cellubrevin alterations and Mycobacterium tuberculosis phagosome maturation arrest.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


The intracellular trafficking processes controlling phagosomal maturation remain to be fully delineated. Mycobacterium tuberculosis var. bovis BCG, an organism that causes phagosomal maturation arrest, has emerged as a tool for dissection of critical phagosome biogenesis events. In this work, we report that cellubrevin, a v-SNARE functioning in endosomal recycling and implicated in endosomal interactions with post-Golgi compartments, plays a role in phagosomal maturation and that it is altered on mycobacterial phagosomes. Both mycobacterial phagosomes, which undergo maturation arrest, and model phagosomes containing latex beads, which follow the normal pathway of maturation into phagolysosomes, acquired cellubrevin. However, the mycobacterial and model phagosomes differed, as a discrete proteolytic degradation of this SNARE was detected on mycobacterial phagosomes. The observed cellubrevin alteration on mycobacterial phagosomes was not a passive event secondary to a maturation arrest at another checkpoint of the phagosome maturation pathway, since pharmacological inhibitors of phagosomal/endosomal pathways blocking phagosomal maturation did not cause cellubrevin degradation on model phagosomes. Cellubrevin status on phagosomes had consequences on phagosomal membrane and lumenal content trafficking, involving plasma membrane marker recycling and delivery of lysosomal enzymes. These results suggest that cellubrevin plays a role in phagosomal maturation and that it is a target for modification by mycobacteria or by infection-induced processes in the host cell.

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