Pathogen destruction versus intracellular survival: the role of lipids as phagosomal fate determinants

J Clin Invest. 2008 Jun;118(6):2002-11. doi: 10.1172/JCI35433.


Phagocytosis is a key component of the innate immune response and of the clearance of apoptotic bodies. Phagosome formation and subsequent maturation require extensive cytoskeletal rearrangement and precisely choreographed vesicular fusion and fission events. The objectives of this review are to highlight the functional importance of lipids in the phagocytic process, to discuss how pathogenic microorganisms can in some cases manipulate host lipid metabolism to either co-opt or disrupt phagosome maturation and promote their own survival, and to describe how defective phagosomal lipid metabolism can result in disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Kinetics
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Models, Biological
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / metabolism
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Phagocytosis*
  • Phagosomes / metabolism*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Lipids
  • Peptides