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Deborah J. Nelson

University of Chicago
Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Physiology
Macrophage Biology: To eat or not to eat
Secretion of stored secretory products and related organelles is important for immune system function. The regulation of macrophage secretion appears to be mediated via two parallel but interactive pathways involving a Ca sensory limb and a G protein binding limb. This application will examine the specific proteins involved in both Ca and GTP sensing in the regulation of macrophage secretion in general and phagolysosomes in specific. Phagosomes and lysosomes have been considered to be terminal degradative organelles. Recent work from our laboratory demonstrates that phagosomes serve both a degradative and a secretory function. Phagosomes undergo regulated secretion in macrophages, one important function of which may be to deliver sequestered free radicals into the extracellular space. It is conceivable that such a phenomenon contributes to the microbicidal activity of phagocytes and may also function as a paracrine signalling mechanism to other immune system elements in close proximity.
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