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Publication Detail
Spatiotemporal control of actomyosin contractility by MRCKβ signaling drives phagocytosis
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Zihni C, Georgiadis A, Ramsden CM, Sanchez-Heras E, Haas AJ, Nommiste B, Semenyuk O, Bainbridge JWB, Coffey PJ, Smith AJ, Ali RR, Balda MS, Matter K
  • Publisher:
    Rockefeller University Press
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Cell Biology
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Article number:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Actins, Actomyosin, Myosin Type II, Myotonin-Protein Kinase, Phagocytosis, Protein-Tyrosine Kinases, Receptors, Fc, c-Mer Tyrosine Kinase
  • Notes:
    © 2022 Zihni et al. This article is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution 4.0 International, as described at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Phagocytosis requires actin dynamics, but whether actomyosin contractility plays a role in this morphodynamic process is unclear. Here, we show that in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), particle binding to Mer Tyrosine Kinase (MerTK), a widely expressed phagocytic receptor, stimulates phosphorylation of the Cdc42 GEF Dbl3, triggering activation of MRCKβ/myosin-II and its coeffector N-WASP, membrane deformation, and cup formation. Continued MRCKβ/myosin-II activity then drives recruitment of a mechanosensing bridge, enabling cytoskeletal force transmission, cup closure, and particle internalization. In vivo, MRCKβ is essential for RPE phagocytosis and retinal integrity. MerTK-independent activation of MRCKβ signaling by a phosphomimetic Dbl3 mutant rescues phagocytosis in retinitis pigmentosa RPE cells lacking functional MerTK. MRCKβ is also required for efficient particle translocation from the cortex into the cell body in Fc receptor-mediated phagocytosis. Thus, conserved MRCKβ signaling at the cortex controls spatiotemporal regulation of actomyosin contractility to guide distinct phases of phagocytosis in the RPE and represents the principle phagocytic effector pathway downstream of MerTK.
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