MyD88-independent activation of a novel actin-Cdc42/Rac pathway is required for Toll-like receptor-stimulated phagocytosis

Kong L, Ge BX
Source: Cell Res
Publication Date: (2008)
Issue: 18(7): 745-55
Research Area:
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Cells used in publication:
RAW 264.7
Species: mouse
Tissue Origin: blood
Nucleofectorâ„¢ I/II/2b
Phagocytosis and subsequent degradation of pathogens by macrophages play a pivotal role in host innate immune responses to microbial infection. Recent studies have shown that Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play an important role in promoting the clearance of bacteria by up-regulating the phagocytic activity of macrophages. However, information regarding the signaling mechanism of TLR-mediated phagocytosis is still limited. Here, we provide evidence that the stimulation of TLR4 with LPS leads to activation of multiple signaling pathways including MAP kinases, phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and small GTPases in the murine macrophage-like cell line RAW264.7. Specific inhibition of Cdc42/Rac or p38 MAP kinase, but not PI3K, reduced TLR4-induced phagocytosis of bacteria. Moreover, we have found that either inhibition of actin polymerization by cytochalasin D or the knockdown of actin by RNAi markedly reduced the activation of Cdc42 and Rac by LPS. TLR4-induced activation of Cdc42 and Rac appears to be independent of MyD88. Taken together, our results described a novel actin-Cdc42/Rac pathway through which TLRs can specifically provoke phagocytosis.