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Science 327 (5970): 1261-1264

Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Retromer Is Required for Apoptotic Cell Clearance by Phagocytic Receptor Recycling

Didi Chen,1,2,* Hui Xiao,1,2,* Kai Zhang,3 Bin Wang,3 Zhiyang Gao,1 Youli Jian,1 Xiaying Qi,1 Jianwei Sun,1,2 Long Miao,3 Chonglin Yang1,{dagger}

Abstract: The cell surface receptor CED-1 mediates apoptotic cell recognition by phagocytic cells, enabling cell corpse clearance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we found that the C. elegans intracellular protein sorting complex, retromer, was required for cell corpse clearance by mediating the recycling of CED-1. Retromer was recruited to the surfaces of phagosomes containing cell corpses, and its loss of function caused defective cell corpse removal. The retromer probably acted through direct interaction with CED-1 in the cell corpse recognition pathway. In the absence of retromer function, CED-1 associated with lysosomes and failed to recycle from phagosomes and cytosol to the plasma membrane. Thus, retromer is an essential mediator of apoptotic cell clearance by regulating phagocytic receptor(s) during cell corpse engulfment.

1 Key Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China.
2 Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China.
3 National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: clyang{at}

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