Phagocytic removal of apoptotic cells involves formation, maturation, and digestion of cell corpse-containing phagosomes. The retrieval of lysosomal components following phagolysosomal digestion of cell corpses remains poorly understood. Here we reveal that the amino acid transporter SLC-36.1 is essential for lysosome reformation during cell corpse clearance in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. Loss of slc-36.1 leads to formation of phagolysosomal vacuoles arising from cell corpse-containing phagosomes. In the absence of slc-36.1, phagosome maturation is not affected, but the retrieval of lysosomal components is inhibited. Moreover, loss of PPK-3, the C. elegans homologue of the PtdIns3P 5-kinase PIKfyve, similarly causes accumulation of phagolysosomal vacuoles that are defective in phagocytic lysosome reformation. SLC-36.1 and PPK-3 function in the same genetic pathway, and they directly interact with one another. In addition, loss of slc-36.1 and ppk-3 causes strong defects in autophagic lysosome reformation in adult animals. Our findings thus suggest that the PPK-3-SLC-36.1 axis plays a central role in both phagocytic and autophagic lysosome formation.
© 2019 Gan et al.