Macropinocytosis: Regulated coordination of endocytic and exocytic membrane traffic events

Sestina Falcone, Emanuele Cocucci, Paola Podini, Tomas Kirchhausen, Emilio Clementi, Jacopo Meldolesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Macropinocytosis, a form of bulk uptake of fluid and solid cargo into cytoplasmic vacuoles, called macropinosomes, has been studied mostly in relation to antigen presentation. Early membrane traffic events occurring in this process are, however, largely unknown. Using human dendritic cells we show that a marked increase in the rate of macropinocytosis occurs a few minutes after application of two markers (small latex beads or dextran), depends on a slow intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) rise that precedes the PI3K-dependent step, and is preceded and accompanied by exocytosis of enlargeosomes compensating in part for the macropinocytic plasma membrane internalization. Unexpectedly, macropinosomes themselves, which share markers with endosomes, undergo Ca2+-dependent exocytosis so that, after ∼20 minutes of continuous bead or dextran uptake, an equilibrium is reached preventing cells from overloading themselves with the organelles. Large [Ca2+]i increases induced by ionomycin trigger rapid (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4758-4769
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2006


  • Dendritic cells
  • Enlargeosomes
  • Macropinocytosis
  • Membrane traffic
  • Regulated exocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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