Rab7 regulates phagosome maturation in Dictyostelium

A. Rupper, B. Grove, J. Cardelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


A Dictyostelium Rab7 homolog has been demonstrated to regulate fluid-phase influx, efflux, retention of lysosomal hydrolases and phagocytosis. Since Rab7 function appeared to be required for efficient phagocytosis, we sought to further characterize the role of Rab7 in phagosomal maturation. Expression of GFP-Rab7 resulted in labeling of both early and late phagosomes containing yeast, but not forming phagocytic cups. In order to determine if Rab7 played a role in regulating membrane traffic between the endo/lysosomal system and maturing phagosomes, latex bead containing (LBC) phagosomes were purified from wild-type cells at various times after internalization. Glycosidases, cysteine proteinases, Rab7 and lysosomally associated membrane proteins were delivered rapidly to nascent phagosomes in control cells. LBC phagosomes isolated from cells overexpressing dominant negative (DN) Rab7 contained very low levels of LmpA (lysosomal integral membrane protein) and α-mannosidase was not detectable. Interestingly, cysteine proteinases were delivered to phagosomes as apparent proforms in cells overexpressing DN Rab7. Despite these defects, phagosomes in cells overexpressing DN Rab7 matured to form multi-particle spacious phagosomes, except that these phagosomes remained significantly more acidic than control phagosomes. These results suggested that Rab7 regulates both an early and late steps of phagosomal maturation, similar to its role in the endo/lysosomal system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2449-2460
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2001


  • Phagocytosis
  • Phagosome maturation
  • Rab7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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