Phagosome Maturation

  • William S. Trimble
  • Marc G. Coppolino
Part of the Medical Intelligence Unit book series (MIUN)


Phagocytosis is the process used by eukaryotic cells to engulf and ingest foreign particles. In lower eukaryotes this process is mainly used for food uptake while in multicellular organisms phagocytosis is the primary mechanism used to fight infection. Phagocytosis of microbes typically leads to their killing as the organelle of ingestion, the phagosome, acquires anti-microbial properties through a process termed “phagosomal maturation”. Since many of these microbicidal properties are also typical of the lysosome, the mature phagosome has been called a phagolysosome and parallels have been drawn between the maturation process and the endocytic pathway. Importantly, some microbes have evolved mechanisms to abrogate the maturation process, allowing them to persist as intracellular parasites within the very cells charged with the task of eliminating them. In this chapter we will focus on the molecular mechanisms involved in the maturation of the mammalian macrophage phagosome, especially those formed by activation of the Fc receptor, and how some intracellullar parasites derail this maturation process.


Actin Filament Early Endosome Late Endosome Endocytic Pathway Snare Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© and Springer Science+Business Media 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • William S. Trimble
    • 1
  • Marc G. Coppolino
    • 2
  1. 1.Program in Cell Biology Hospital for Sick Children and Department of BiochemistryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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