In contrast to phagocytosis, macropinocytosis is not directly initiated by interactions between cell surface receptors and cargo ligands, but is a result of constitutive membrane ruffling driven by dynamic remodelling of cortical actin cytoskeleton in response to stimulation of growth factor receptors. Wang et al. (2010)  developed a reliable assay that allows quantitative assessment of the efficiency and kinetics of macropinosome biogenesis and/or maturation in cells where the function of a targeted protein has been perturbed by pharmacological inhibitors or by knock-down or knock-out approaches. In this manuscript we describe a modified quantitative protocol to measure the rate and volume of fluid phase uptake in adherent cells. This assay:uses fluorescent dextran, microscopy and semi-automated image analysis;allows quantitation of macropinosomes within large numbers of individual cells;can be applied also to non-homogenous cell populations including transiently transfected cell monolayers. We present the background necessary to consider when customising this protocol for application to new cell types or experimental variations. © 2014 The Authors.
Wang, J. T. H., Teasdale, R. D., & Liebl, D. (2014). Macropinosome quantitation assay. MethodsX, 1(1), 36–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2014.05.002