The myotubularin MTMR4 regulates phagosomal phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate turnover and phagocytosis

David A. Sheffield, Malene R. Jepsen, Sandra J. Feeney, Micka C. Bertucci, Absorn Sriratana, Monica J. Naughtin, Jennifer M. Dyson, Ross L. Coppel, Christina A. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Macrophage phagocytosis is required for effective clearance of invading bacteria and other microbes. Coordinated phosphoinositide signaling is critical both for phagocytic particle engulfment and subsequent phagosomal maturation to a degradative organelle. Phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns(3)P) is a phosphoinositide that is rapidly synthesized and degraded on phagosomal membranes, where it recruits FYVE domain- and PX motif-containing proteins that promote phagosomal maturation. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate PtdIns(3)P removal from the phagosome have remained unclear. We report here that a myotubularin PtdIns(3)P 3-phosphatase, myotubularin-related protein-4 (MTMR4), regulates macrophage phagocytosis. MTMR4 overexpression reduced and siRNA-mediated Mtmr4 silencing increased levels of cell-surface immunoglobulin receptors (i.e. Fc receptors (FcRs)) on RAW 264.7 macrophages, associated with altered pseudopodal F-actin. Furthermore, MTMR4 negatively regulated the phagocytosis of IgG-opsonized particles, indicating that MTMR4 inhibits FcRmediated phagocytosis, and was dynamically recruited to phagosomes of macrophages during phagocytosis. MTMR4 overexpression decreased and Mtmr4-specific siRNA expression increased the duration of PtdIns(3)P on phagosomal membranes. Macrophages treated with Mtmr4-specific siRNA were more resistant to Mycobacterium marinum-induced phagosome arrest, associated with increased maturation of mycobacterial phagosomes, indicating that extended PtdIns(3)P signaling on phagosomes in the Mtmr4-knockdown cells permitted trafficking of phagosomes to acidic late endosomal and lysosomal compartments. In conclusion, our findings indicate that MTMR4 regulates PtdIns(3)P degradation in macrophages and thereby controls phagocytosis and phagosomal maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16684-16697
Number of pages14
JournalThe Journal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2019


  • phagocytosis
  • phosphatidylinositol phosphatase
  • Fc-gamma receptor
  • macrophage
  • mycobacteria
  • innate immunity
  • myotubularin-related protein-4 (MTMR4)
  • phagosome
  • phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns(3)P)

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