The phagosome: compartment with a license to kill

Traffic. 2007 Apr;8(4):311-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2006.00531.x. Epub 2007 Jan 30.


Phagosomes are fascinating subcellular structures. After all, there are only a few compartments that are born before our very eyes and whose development we can follow in a light microscope until their contents disintegrate and are completely absorbed. Yet, some phagosomes are taken advantage of by pathogenic microorganisms, which change their fate. Research into phagosome biogenesis has flourished in recent years - the purpose of this review is to give a glimpse of where this research stands, with emphasis on the cell biology of macrophage phagosomes, on new model organisms for the study of phagosome biogenesis and on intracellular pathogens and their interference with normal phagosome function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endosomes / physiology
  • Humans
  • Phagocytosis / physiology*
  • Phagosomes / physiology*
  • Vacuoles / physiology