The adaptor protein GULP promotes Jedi-1-mediated phagocytosis through a clathrin-dependent mechanism

Chelsea S. Sullivan, Jami L. Scheib, Zhong Ma, Rajan P. Dang, Johanna M. Schafer, Francis E. Hickman, Frances M. Brodsky, Kodi S. Ravichandran, Bruce D. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


During the development of the peripheral nervous system, the large number of apoptotic neurons generated are phagocytosed by glial precursor cells. This clearance is mediated, in part, through the mammalian engulfment receptor Jedi-1. However, the mechanisms by which Jedi-1 mediates phagocytosis are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that Jedi-1 associates with GULP, the mammalian homologue of CED-6, an adaptor protein required for phagocytosis mediated by the nematode engulfment receptor CED-1. Silencing GULP or mutating the NPXY motif in Jedi-1, which is required for GULP binding, prevents Jedi-1-mediated phagocytosis. How GULP promotes engulfment is not known. Of interest, we find that Jedi-1-induced phagocytosis requires GULP binding to clathrin heavy chain (CHC). During engulfment, CHC is tyrosine phosphorylated, which is required for Jedi-mediated engulfment. Both phosphoclathrin and actin accumulate around engulfed microspheres. Furthermore, knockdown of CHC in HeLa cells prevents Jedi-1-mediated engulfment of microspheres, and knockdown in glial precursors prevents the engulfment of apoptotic neurons. Taken together, these results reveal that Jedi-1 signals through recruitment of GULP, which promotes phagocytosis through a noncanonical phosphoclathrin-dependent mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1925-1936
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2014


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