Identification of Two Distinct Mechanisms of Phagocytosis Controlled by Different Rho GTPases

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Science  27 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5394, pp. 1717-1721
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5394.1717

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The complement and immunoglobulin receptors are the major phagocytic receptors involved during infection. However, only immunoglobulin-dependent uptake results in a respiratory burst and an inflammatory response in macrophages. Rho guanosine triphosphatases (molecular switches that control the organization of the actin cytoskeleton) were found to be essential for both types of phagocytosis. Two distinct mechanisms of phagocytosis were identified: Type I, used by the immunoglobulin receptor, is mediated by Cdc42 and Rac, and type II, used by the complement receptor, is mediated by Rho. These results suggest a molecular basis for the different biological consequences that are associated with phagocytosis.

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