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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008 Jul;65(13):1957-76. doi: 10.1007/s00018-008-7578-4.

Molecular mechanisms of phagocytic uptake in mammalian cells.

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Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection, Imperial College London, London, UK.


Phagocytosis is a highly conserved, complex process that has evolved to counter the constant threat posed by pathogens, effete cells and debris. Classically defined as a mechanism for internalising and destroying particles greater than 0.5 mum in size, it is a receptor-mediated, actin-driven process. The best-studied phagocytic receptors are the opsono-receptors, FcgammaR and CR3. Phagocytic uptake involves actin dynamics including polymerisation, bundling, contraction, severing and depolymerisation of actin filaments. Recent evidence points to the importance of membrane remodelling during phagocytosis, both in terms of changes in lipid composition and delivery of new membrane to the sites of particle binding. Here we review the molecular mechanisms of phagocytic uptake and some of the strategies developed by microbial pathogens to manipulate this process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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