The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 63: 461 - 471 (2019)

Vol 63, Issue 8-9-10

Special Issue: The Dictyostelium model system

The endocytic pathways of Dictyostelium discoideum

Published: 11 December 2019

James H. Vines and Jason S. King*

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK


The formation and processing of vesicles from the cell surface serves many important cellular functions ranging from nutrient acquisition to regulating the turnover of membrane components and signalling. In this article, we summarise the endocytic pathways of the social amoeba Dictyostelium from the clathrin-dependent and independent internalisation of surface components to the engulfment of bacteria or fluid by phagocytosis and macropinocytosis respectively. Due to similarities with the professional phagocytes of the mammalian immune system Dictyostelium has been extensively used to investigate the complex remodelling and trafficking events that occur as phagosomes and macropinosomes transit through the cell. Here we discuss what is known about this maturation process in order to kill any potential pathogens and obtain nutrients for growth. Finally, we aim to put these studies in evolutionary context and highlight some of the many questions that remain in our understanding of these complex and important pathways.


Clathrin, macropinocytosis, phagocytosis, Dictyostelium, phosphoinositide, endocytosis

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