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EMBO J. 2005 Jul 6;24(13):2254-64. Epub 2005 Jun 16.

A Rab21/LIM-only/CH-LIM complex regulates phagocytosis via both activating and inhibitory mechanisms.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-2715, USA.


We have identified two LIM domain proteins, LimF and ChLim, from Dictyostelium that interact with each other and with the small, Rab5-related, Rab21 GTPase to collectively regulate phagocytosis. To investigate in vivo functions, we generated cell lines that lack or overexpress LimF and ChLim and strains that express activating or inhibiting variants of Rab21. Overexpression of LimF, loss of ChLim, or expression of constitutively active Rab21 increases the rate of phagocytosis above that of wild type. Conversely, loss of LimF, overexpression of ChLim, or expression of a dominant-negative Rab21 inhibits phagocytosis. Our studies using cells carrying multiple mutations in these genes further indicate that ChLim antagonizes the activating function of Rab21-GTP during phagocytosis; in turn, LimF is required for Rab21-GTP function. Finally, we demonstrate that ChLim and LimF localize to the phagocytic cup and phago-lysosomal vesicles. We suggest that LimF, ChLim, and activated Rab21-GTP participate as a novel signaling complex that regulates phagocytic activity.

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