Bachelor of Science, Instituto Politecnico Nacional (2013)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Toronto (2018)
A guide to measuring phagosomal dynamics.
The FEBS journal
Phagocytosis is an essential mechanism for immunity and homeostasis, performed by a subset of cells known as phagocytes. Upon target engulfment, de novo formation of specialized compartments termed phagosomes takes place. Phagosomes then undergo a series of fusion and fission events as they interact with the endolysosomal system and other organelles, in a dynamic process known as phagosome maturation. Because phagocytes play a key role in tissue patrolling and immune surveillance, phagosome maturation is associated with signaling pathways to link phagocytosis to antigen presentation and the development of adaptive immune responses. In addition, and depending on the nature of the cargo, phagosome integrity may be compromised, triggering additional cellular mechanisms including inflammation and autophagy. Upon completion of maturation, phagosomes enter a recently described phase: phagosome resolution, where catabolites from degraded cargo are metabolized, phagosomes are resorbed and vesicles of phagosomal origin are recycled. Finally, phagocytes return to homeostasis and become ready for a new round of phagocytosis. Altogether, phagosome maturation and resolution encompass a series of dynamic events and organelle crosstalk that can be measured by biochemical, imaging, photoluminescence, cytometric and immune-based assays that will be described in this Guide.
View details for DOI 10.1111/febs.15506
View details for PubMedID 32757358
Phagosome-Endoplasmic Reticulum contacts: kissing and not running.
Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)
The role of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in phagocytosis has been the subject of debate for over a decade. Proteomic determinations and dynamic microscopy of live cells led to conflicting conclusions. Recent insights into the existence of a variety of membrane contact sites may help reconcile the seemingly disparate views. Specifically, earlier results can be rationalized considering that the ER forms specialized membrane contact sites with nascent and maturing phagosomes, without undergoing fusion. The composition and function of documented ER-to-phagosome contact sites is described. In addition, we speculate about the possible existence of additional phagosomal contact sites, based on available knowledge of interactions between the ER and other endocytic compartments. The interaction between phagosomes and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has been the subject of debate. Earlier observations that led to the suggestion that the ER fuses with the phagosomal membrane can now be explained in the light of recent evidence that intimate contacts form between the two organelles. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
View details for DOI 10.1111/tra.12708
View details for PubMedID 31650670
Phagolysosome resolution requires contacts with the endoplasmic reticulum and phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate signalling.
Nature cell biology
Phosphoinositides have a pivotal role in the maturation of nascent phagosomes into microbicidal phagolysosomes. Following degradation of their contents, mature phagolysosomes undergo resolution, a process that remains largely uninvestigated. Here we studied the role of phosphoinositides in phagolysosome resolution. Phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PtdIns(4)P), which is abundant in maturing phagolysosomes, was depleted as they tubulated and resorbed. Depletion was caused, in part, by transfer of phagolysosomal PtdIns(4)P to the endoplasmic reticulum, a process mediated by oxysterol-binding protein-related protein 1L (ORP1L), a RAB7 effector. ORP1L formed discrete tethers between the phagolysosome and the endoplasmic reticulum, resulting in distinct regions with alternating PtdIns(4)P depletion and enrichment. Tubules emerged from PtdIns(4)P-rich regions, where ADP-ribosylation factor-like protein 8B (ARL8B) and SifA- and kinesin-interacting protein/pleckstrin homology domain-containing family M member 2 (SKIP/PLEKHM2) accumulated. SKIP binds preferentially to monophosphorylated phosphoinositides, of which PtdIns(4)P is most abundant in phagolysosomes, contributing to their tubulation. Accordingly, premature hydrolysis of PtdIns(4)P impaired SKIP recruitment and phagosome resolution. Thus, resolution involves phosphoinositides and tethering of phagolysosomes to the endoplasmic reticulum.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41556-019-0394-2
View details for PubMedID 31570833
Identification of phagocytosis regulators using magnetic genome-wide CRISPR screens.
Phagocytosis is required for a broad range of physiological functions, from pathogen defense to tissue homeostasis, but the mechanisms required for phagocytosis of diverse substrates remain incompletely understood. Here, we developed a rapid magnet-based phenotypic screening strategy, and performed eight genome-wide CRISPR screens in human cells to identify genes regulating phagocytosis of distinct substrates. After validating select hits in focused miniscreens, orthogonal assays and primary human macrophages, we show that (1) the previously uncharacterized gene NHLRC2 is a central player in phagocytosis, regulating RhoA-Rac1 signaling cascades that control actin polymerization and filopodia formation, (2) very-long-chain fatty acids are essential for efficient phagocytosis of certain substrates and (3) the previously uncharacterized Alzheimer's disease-associated gene TM2D3 can preferentially influence uptake of amyloid-beta aggregates. These findings illuminate new regulators and core principles of phagocytosis, and more generally establish an efficient method for unbiased identification of cellular uptake mechanisms across diverse physiological and pathological contexts.
View details for PubMedID 30397336