LAP (LC3-associated phagocytosis): phagocytosis or autophagy?

Médecine sciences : M/S
Mathilde GalaisMartine Biard-Piechaczyk


Phagocytosis and macroautophagy, named here autophagy, are two essential mechanisms of lysosomal degradation of diverse cargos into membrane structures. Both mechanisms are involved in immune regulation and cell survival. However, phagocytosis triggers degradation of extracellular material whereas autophagy engulfs only cytoplasmic elements. Furthermore, activation and maturation of these two processes are different. LAP (LC3-associated phagocytosis) is a form of phagocytosis that uses components of the autophagy pathway. It can eliminate (i) pathogens, (ii) immune complexes, (iii) threatening neighbouring cells, dead or alive, and (iv) cell debris, such as POS (photoreceptor outer segment) and the midbody released at the end of mitosis. Cells have thus optimized their means of elimination of dangerous components by sharing some fundamental elements coming from the two main lysosomal degradation pathways.


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