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Front Physiol. 2015 Jan 29;6:8. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2015.00008. eCollection 2015.

Differential signaling during macropinocytosis in response to M-CSF and PMA in macrophages.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


The cellular movements that construct a macropinosome have a corresponding sequence of chemical transitions in the cup-shaped region of plasma membrane that becomes the macropinosome. To determine the relative positions of type I phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and phospholipase C (PLC) in this pathway, we analyzed macropinocytosis in macrophages stimulated by the growth factor macrophage-colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and by the diacylglycerol (DAG) analog phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). In cells stimulated with M-CSF, microscopic imaging of fluorescent probes for intracellular lipids indicated that the PI3K product phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) appeared in cups just prior to DAG. We then tested the hypothesis that PMA and DAG function after PI3K and prior to Ras and protein kinase C (PKC) during macropinosome formation in macrophages. Although the PI3K target Akt was activated by M-CSF, the Akt inhibitor MK-2206 did not inhibit macropinocytosis. The phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor U73122 blocked macropinocytosis by M-CSF but not PMA. Macropinocytosis in response to M-CSF and PMA was inhibited by the Ras inhibitor farnesyl thiosalicylate (FTS), by the PKC inhibitor Calphostin C and by the broad specificity inhibitor rottlerin. These studies support a model in which M-CSF stimulates PI3K in macropinocytic cups, and the resulting increase in PIP3 activates PLC, which in turn generates DAG necessary for activation of PKC, Ras and the late stages of macropinosome closure.


Ras; diacylglycerol; macropinocytosis; phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate; phospholipase C; protein kinase C

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