Rab17 mediates intermixing of phagocytosed apoptotic cells with recycling endosomes

Small GTPases. 2019 May;10(3):218-226. doi: 10.1080/21541248.2017.1308852. Epub 2017 May 4.


Efferocytosis-the phagocytic removal of apoptotic cells-is required for preventing the presentation of apoptotic cell-derived antigens. This process is regulated by Rab17-dependent sorting of efferocytosed cargos from the phagolysosome to recycling endosomes. In this study we demonstrate that Rab17 is rapidly recruited to efferosomes, followed by migration of the efferosome to the cell center where it intermixes with lysosomes and undergoes Rab17-dependent vesiculation. These efferosome-derived vesicles then traffic in a Rab17-dependent manner to the cell periphery, where they transfer cargo to recycling endosomes. Combined, our observations support a model wherein efferosomes migrate to the cell center to acquire degradative enzymes, followed by peripheral migration to prevent further phagolysosome maturation and to enable cargo transfer to recycling endosomes.

Keywords: Rab17; antigen processing; efferocytosis; macrophage; maturation; phagocytosis; vesicular trafficking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Endosomes / genetics
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Lysosomes / genetics
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Phagosomes / genetics
  • Phagosomes / metabolism*
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins