The Macrophage Receptor with COllagenous structure (MARCO) protein is a plasma membrane receptor for un-opsonized or environmental particles on phagocytic cells. Here, we show that MARCO was internalized either by ruffling of plasma membrane followed by macropinocytosis or by endocytosis followed by fusion with autophagosome in CHO-K1 cells stably transfected with GFP-MARCO. The macropinocytic process generated large vesicles when the plasma membrane subsided. The endocytosis/autophagosome (amphi-some) generated small fluorescent puncta which were visible in the presence of glutamine, chloroquine, bafilomycin, ammonia, and other amines. The small puncta, but not the large vesicles, co-localized with LC3B and lysosomes. The LC3-II/LC3-I ratio increased in the presence of glutamine, ammonia, and chloroquine in various cells. The small puncta trafficked between the peri-nuclear region and the distal ends of cells back and forth at rates of up to 2-3 μm/sec; tubulin, but not actin, regulated the trafficking of the small puncta. Besides phagocytosis MARCO, an adhesive plasma membrane receptor, may play a role in incorporation of various extracellular materials into the cell via both macropinocytic and endocytic pathways.
Hirohirano, S., & Kanno, S. (2015). Macrophage Receptor with COllagenous structure (MARCO) is processed by either macropinocytosis or endocytosis-autophagy pathway. PLoS ONE, 10(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0142062