PI3Kβ is selectively required for growth factor-stimulated macropinocytosis

Gilbert Salloum, Charles T. Jakubik, Zahra Erami, Samantha D. Heitz, Anne R. Bresnick, Jonathan M. Backer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Macropinocytosis is an actin-dependent but clathrin-independent endocytic process by which cells nonselectively take up large aliquots of extracellular material. Macropinocytosis is used for immune surveillance by dendritic cells, as a route of infection by viruses and protozoa, and as a nutrient uptake pathway in tumor cells. In this study, we explore the role of class I phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) during ligand-stimulated macropinocytosis. We find that macropinocytosis in response to receptor tyrosine kinase activation is strikingly dependent on a single class I PI3K isoform, namely PI3Kβ (containing the p110β catalytic subunit encoded by PIK3CB). Loss of PI3Kβ expression or activity blocks macropinocytosis at early steps, before the formation of circular dorsal ruffles, but also plays a role in later steps, downstream from Rac1 activation. PI3Kβ is also required for the elevated levels of constitutivemacropinocytosis found in tumor cells that are defective for the PTEN tumor suppressor. Our data shed new light on PI3K signaling during macropinocytosis, and suggest new therapeutic uses for pharmacological inhibitors of PI3Kβ.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjcs231639
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Circular dorsal ruffles
  • HGF
  • Macropinocytosis
  • PDGF
  • PIK3CB
  • PTEN
  • Phosphoinositide 3-kinase
  • Rac
  • Tumor cells


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