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Curr Biol. 2002 Aug 20;12(16):1413-18.

Rho-kinase and myosin-II control phagocytic cup formation during CR, but not FcgammaR, phagocytosis.

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School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


Phagocytosis through Fcgamma receptor (FcgammaR) or complement receptor 3 (CR) requires Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin polymerization, although each receptor uses a distinct signaling pathway. Rac and Cdc42 are required for actin and Arp2/3 complex recruitment during FcgammaR phagocytosis, while Rho controls actin assembly at CR phagosomes. To better understand the role of Rho in CR phagocytosis, we tested the idea that a known target of Rho, Rho-kinase (ROK), might control phagocytic cup formation and/or engulfment of particles. Inhibitors of ROK (dominant-negative ROK and Y-27632) and of the downstream target of ROK, myosin-II (ML7, BDM, and dominant-negative myosin-II), were used to test this idea. We found that inhibition of the Rho --> ROK --> myosin-II pathway caused a decreased accumulation of Arp2/3 complex and F-actin around bound particles, which led to a reduction in CR-mediated phagocytic engulfment. FcgammaR-mediated phagocytosis, in contrast, was independent of Rho or ROK activity and was only dependent on myosin-II for particle internalization, not for actin cup formation. While myosins have been previously implicated in FcgammaR phagocytosis, to our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a role for myosin-II in CR phagocytosis.

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