Phagocytosis plays an essential role in host-defense mechanisms through the uptake and destruction of infectious pathogens. Specialized cell types including macrophages, neutrophils, and monocytes take part in this process in higher organisms. After opsonization with antibodies (IgG), foreign extracellular materials are recognized by Fc gamma receptors. Cross-linking of Fc gamma receptors initiates a variety of signals mediated by tyrosine phosphorylation of multiple proteins, which lead through the actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and membrane remodeling to the formation of phagosomes. Nascent phagosomes undergo a process of maturation that involves fusion with lysosomes. The acquisition of lysosomal proteases and release of reactive oxygen species are crucial for digestion of engulfed materials in phagosomes.
nt06135 Cytoskeletal regulation (viruses and bacteria)