A role for mammalian diaphanous-related formins in complement receptor (CR3)-mediated phagocytosis in macrophages

Curr Biol. 2005 Nov 22;15(22):2007-12. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.09.051.


Macrophages, dendritic cells, and neutrophils use phagocytosis to capture and clear off invading pathogens. The process is triggered by the interaction of ligands on the pathogens' surface with specific phagocytic receptors, including immunoglobulin (FcR) and complement C3bi (CR3) receptors (integrin alpha(M)beta2, Mac1) . Localized actin-filament assembly that acts as the driving force for particle engulfment is controlled by Rho-family small GTPases . RhoA regulates CR3-mediated phagocytosis through a mechanism that is still unclear . Mammalian Diaphanous-related (mDia) formins participate in the generation of a diverse set of actin-remodeling events downstream of RhoA , and mDia1 is recruited around fibronectin-coated beads in a RhoA-dependent manner in fibroblasts . Here, we set out to examine whether mDia proteins are involved in CR3-mediated phagocytosis in macrophages. We show that the RhoA effector mDia1 is recruited early during CR3-mediated phagocytosis and colocalizes with polymerized actin in the phagocytic cup. Interfering with mDia activity inhibits CR3-mediated phagocytosis while having no effect on FcR-mediated phagocytosis. These results indicate a new function for mDia proteins in the regulation of actin polymerization during CR3-mediated phagocytosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Formins
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Macrophages / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Phagocytosis / physiology*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics


  • Actins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Diap1 protein, mouse
  • Formins
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • RNA, Small Interfering