New insights on phagosome maturation

HZI scientists publish results in PNAS


Phagocytic cells have ingested Mycobacterium bovis bacteria.

HZI / KasmapourConfocal microscope image of phagocytic immune cells expressing the Rab34 protein (green) after uptake of Mycobacterium bovis BCG bacteria (red).

Phagocytes ingest particles as well as pathogens from their surroundings into compartments called phagosomes. The phagosomes possess a harsh milieu with microbicidal function; therefore the phagocytes represent the first line of defense against infections. However, some intracellular pathogens, including members of mycobacterial species, manipulate the phagosomes to survive within them.

In a recent study, HZI researches investigated the process of phagosome maturation and killing of mycobacteria, discovering the role of the protein Rab34 in this process. The results of the study contribute to a better understanding of the innate immune response to intracellular pathogens and will be published in the upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Read the scientific article here.