Identification of the anchor for tethering the phagosomal actin cage

Baranov , Maxim

The molecular mechanisms of the uptake of microbes and tumor cells by phagocytes of the immune system are only partially resolved. Maxim Baranov, group Geert van den Bogaart, theme Cancer development and immune defense, now discovered a new mechanism in this process and they published these results in Cell Reports. 

Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen presenting cells of the immune system that take up extracellular microbes and tumor cells by phagocytosis. The actin cytoskeleton plays a crucial role in this process, but it was unclear how it could be specifically tethered to the phagosomes.

Maxim and his co-workers now identified the protein SWAP70 as the anchor for tethering the phagosomal actin cage. Using multi-color 3-dimensional super-resolution STED microscopy, the found that SWAP70 organizes actin filaments in concentric rings on the surface of the nascent phagosome. SWAP70 is essential for phagocytosis as genetic ablation of SWAP70 leads to phagocytic defects. These data show how phagocytes clear infectious microbes and cancer cells by phagocytosis.

Publication: SWAP70 organizes the actin cytoskeleton and is essential for phagocytosis. Cell Reports, 2016

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