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PLoS One. 2006 Dec 27;1:e120.

Cooperation between engulfment receptors: the case of ABCA1 and MEGF10.

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  • 1Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille Luminy, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France.


The engulfment of dying cells is a specialized form of phagocytosis that is extremely conserved across evolution. In the worm, it is genetically controlled by two parallel pathways, which are only partially reconstituted in mammals. We focused on the recapitulation of the CED-1 defined pathway in mammalian systems. We first explored and validated MEGF10, a novel receptor bearing striking structural similarities to CED-1, as a bona fide functional ortholog in mammals and hence progressed toward the analysis of molecular interactions along the corresponding pathway. We ascertained that, in a system of forced expression by transfection, MEGF10 function can be modulated by the ATP binding cassette transporter ABCA1, ortholog to CED-7. Indeed, the coexpression of either a functional or a mutant ABCA1 exerted a transdominant positive or negative modulation on the MEGF10-dependent engulfment. The combined use of biochemical and biophysical approaches indicated that this functional cooperation relies on the alternate association of these receptors with a common partner, endogenously expressed in our cell system. We provide the first working model structuring in mammals the CED-1 dependent pathway.

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