Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version

July 1997


Published in Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 44:4 (July-August 1997), pp. 284–292. Copyright © 1997 by the Society of Protozoologists; published by Blackwell Publishing. Used by permission.


In recognizing food particles, Dictyostelium cell-surface molecules initiate cytoskeletal rearrangements that result in phagosome formation. After feeding D. discoideum cells latex beads, early phagosomes were isolated on sucrose step gradients. Protein analyses of these vesicles showed that they contained glycoproteins and surface-labeled species corresponding to integral plasma membrane proteins. Cytoskeletal proteins also were associated with phagosomes, including myosin II, actin and a 30 kDa-actin bundling protein. As seen by the acridine orange fluorescence of vesicles containing bacteria, phagosomes were acidified rapidly by a vacuolar H+-ATPase that was detected by immunoblotting. Except for the loss of cytoskeletal proteins, few other changes over time were noted in the protein profiles of phagosomes, suggesting that phagosome maturation was incomplete. The indigestibility of the beads possibly inhibited further endocytic processing, which has been observed by others. Since nascent phagosomes contained molecules of both the cytoskeleton and plasma membrane, they will be useful in studies aimed at identifying specific protein associations occurring between membrane proteins and the cytoskeleton during phagocytosis.

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