DOI: 1011.0370Nov 1, 2010Paper

The zipper mechanism in phagocytosis: energetic requirements and variability in phagocytic cup shape

ArXiv
Sylvain TollisRobert G Endres

Abstract

Phagocytosis is the fundamental cellular process by which eukaryotic cells bind and engulf particles by their cell membrane. Particle engulfment involves particle recognition by cell-surface receptors, signaling and remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton to guide the membrane around the particle in a zipper-like fashion. Despite the signaling complexity, phagocytosis also depends strongly on biophysical parameters, such as particle shape, and the need for actin-driven force generation remains poorly understood. Here, we propose a novel, three-dimensional and stochastic biophysical model of phagocytosis, and study the engulfment of particles of various sizes and shapes, including spiral and rod-shaped particles reminiscent of bacteria. Highly curved shapes are not taken up, in line with recent experimental results. Furthermore, we surprisingly find that even without actin-driven force generation, engulfment proceeds in a large regime of parameter values, albeit more slowly and with highly variable phagocytic cups. We experimentally confirm these predictions using fibroblasts, transfected with immunoreceptor FcyRIIa for engulfment of immunoglobulin G-opsonized particles. Specifically, we compare the wild-type receptor with a muta...Continue Reading

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