A coat protein on phagosomes involved in the intracellular survival of mycobacteria

Cell. 1999 May 14;97(4):435-47. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80754-0.


Mycobacteria are intracellular pathogens that can survive within macrophage phagosomes, thereby evading host defense strategies by largely unknown mechanisms. We have identified a WD repeat host protein that was recruited to and actively retained on phagosomes by living, but not dead, mycobacteria. This protein, termed TACO, represents a component of the phagosome coat that is normally released prior to phagosome fusion with or maturation into lysosomes. In macrophages lacking TACO, mycobacteria were readily transported to lysosomes followed by their degradation. Expression of TACO in nonmacrophages prevented lysosomal delivery of mycobacteria and prolonged their intracellular survival. Active retention of TACO on phagosomes by living mycobacteria thus represents a mechanism preventing cargo delivery to lysosomes, allowing mycobacteria to survive within macrophages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Intracellular Fluid
  • Kupffer Cells / microbiology
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mycobacterium bovis / growth & development*
  • Phagosomes / metabolism*
  • Phagosomes / microbiology
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Rabbits
  • Sequence Analysis
  • Subcellular Fractions
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tuberculosis / metabolism
  • Tuberculosis / pathology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Proteins
  • coronin proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF047388