Functions of the Dictyostelium LIMP-2 and CD36 homologues in bacteria uptake, phagolysosome biogenesis and host cell defence

J Cell Sci. 2018 Sep 3;131(17):jcs218040. doi: 10.1242/jcs.218040.


Phagocytic cells take up, kill and digest microbes by a process called phagocytosis. To this end, these cells bind the particle, rearrange their actin cytoskeleton, and orchestrate transport of digestive factors to the particle-containing phagosome. The mammalian lysosomal membrane protein LIMP-2 (also known as SCARB2) and CD36, members of the class B of scavenger receptors, play a crucial role in lysosomal enzyme trafficking and uptake of mycobacteria, respectively, and generally in host cell defences against intracellular pathogens. Here, we show that the Dictyostelium discoideum LIMP-2 homologue LmpA regulates phagocytosis and phagolysosome biogenesis. The lmpA knockdown mutant is highly affected in actin-dependent processes, such as particle uptake, cellular spreading and motility. Additionally, the cells are severely impaired in phagosomal acidification and proteolysis, likely explaining the higher susceptibility to infection with the pathogenic bacterium Mycobacterium marinum, a close cousin of the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis Furthermore, we bring evidence that LmpB is a functional homologue of CD36 and specifically mediates uptake of mycobacteria. Altogether, these data indicate a role for LmpA and LmpB, ancestors of the family of which LIMP-2 and CD36 are members, in lysosome biogenesis and host cell defence.

Keywords: CD36; Dictyostelium discoideum; LIMP-2; Mycobacteria; Phagocytosis; Phagosome maturation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD36 Antigens / genetics
  • Dictyostelium / genetics
  • Dictyostelium / microbiology
  • Dictyostelium / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lysosome-Associated Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Lysosome-Associated Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Mycobacterium marinum / physiology*
  • Phagocytosis*
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Lipoprotein / genetics
  • Receptors, Lipoprotein / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Scavenger / genetics


  • CD36 Antigens
  • LmpB protein, Dictyostelium discoideum
  • Lysosome-Associated Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Receptors, Lipoprotein
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • SCARB2 protein, human