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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2006 Aug;18(4):429-37. Epub 2006 Jun 14.

Lipid metabolism and dynamics during phagocytosis.

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Division of Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5S 1A8, Canada.


Phagocytosis, the engulfment of particles, mediates the elimination of invading pathogens as well as the clearance of apoptotic cells. Ingested particles reside within a vacuole or phagosome, where they are eventually destroyed and digested. The phagosomal lumen acquires microbicidal and digestive properties through interaction with various components of the endocytic pathway, a process known as maturation. Lipids are known to have numerous roles in phagosome formation and maturation; recent developments in the design of lipid-specific probes and in high-resolution imaging have revealed that lipids, notably phosphoinositides, are involved in signaling, actin assembly and the recruitment of molecular motors to sites of ingestion. In addition, phosphoinositides and other lipids also regulate multiple membrane budding, fission and fusion events required for maturation.

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