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apoptotic cell engulfment

Wednesday 26 January 2005

An evolutionarily conserved machinery exists for engulfment of apoptotic cells from worm to mammals. New observations suggest that corpse clearance is tightly linked to apoptosis and that dying cells use both recruitment and eat-me signals for phagocyte attraction and recognition.

Apoptotic cells are removed from tissues by uptake mechanisms that depend on the GTPase Rac (CED-10 in C. elegans), which is activated by DOCK180/CED-5 in a trimolecular complex with ELMO/CED-12 and CrkII/CED-2.

Upstream components of this pathway in both worms and mammalian cells involve another GTPase, RhoG/MIG-2, and its activator TRIO/UNC-73.

See also

- apoptosis
- phagocytosis


- Henson PM. Engulfment: Ingestion and Migration with Rac, Rho and TRIO. Curr Biol. 2005 Jan 11;15(1):R29-30. PMID: 15649349

- Ravichandran KS: "Recruitment signals" from apoptotic cells: invitation to a quiet meal. Cell 113:817, 2003. PMID: 12837239