Phagocytes engulf unwanted particles into phagosomes that then fuse with lysosomes to degrade the enclosed particles. Ultimately, phagosomes must be recycled to help recover membrane resources that were consumed during phagocytosis and phagosome maturation, a process referred to as “phagosome resolution.” Little is known about phagosome resolution, which may proceed through exocytosis or membrane fission. Here, we show that bacteria-containing phagolysosomes in macrophages undergo fragmentation through vesicle budding, tubulation, and constriction. Phagosome fragmentation requires cargo degradation, the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, and clathrin. We provide evidence that lysosome reformation occurs during phagosome resolution since the majority of phagosome-derived vesicles displayed lysosomal properties. Importantly, we show that clathrin-dependent phagosome resolution is important to maintain the degradative capacity of macrophages challenged with two waves of phagocytosis. Overall, our work suggests that phagosome resolution contributes to lysosome recovery and to maintaining the degradative power of macrophages to handle multiple waves of phagocytosis.

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