Although Fc receptor-mediated phagocytosis is accompanied by a variety of transmembrane signaling events, not all signaling events are required for particle ingestion. For example, Fc receptor-mediated phagocytosis in mouse inflammatory macrophages (Di Virgilio, F., B. C. Meyer, S. Greenberg, and S. C. Silverstein. 1988. J. Cell Biol. 106:657; Greenberg, S., J. El Khoury, F. Di Virgilio, and S. C. Silverstein. 1991. J. Cell Biol. 113:757) and neutrophils (Della Bianca, V., M. Grzeskowiak, and F. Rossi. 1990. J. Immunol. 144:1411) occurs in the absence of cytosolic calcium transients. We sought to identify transmembrane signaling events that are essential for phagocytosis. Here we show that tyrosine phosphorylation is an early event after Fc receptor ligation in mouse inflammatory macrophages, and that the formation of tyrosine phosphoproteins coincides temporally with the appearance of F-actin beneath phagocytic cups. The distribution of tyrosine phosphoproteins that accumulated beneath phagocytic cups was punctate and corresponded to areas of high ligand density on the surface of the antibody-coated red blood cells, which provided the phagocytic stimulus. A tyrosine kinase inhibitor, genistein, but not several inhibitors of protein kinase C, blocked the appearance of tyrosine phosphoproteins as assessed by immunofluorescence, the focal accumulation of F-actin beneath immunoglobulin G-opsonized particles, and the ingestion of these particles as well. We suggest that tyrosine phosphorylation is a critical signaling event that underlies Fc receptor-mediated phagocytosis in mouse macrophages, and is necessary for the engulfment per se.

This content is only available as a PDF.