Staurosporine inhibits neutrophil phagocytosis but not iC3b binding mediated by CR3 (CD11b/CD18)

Robert A.S. Roubey, Gordon D. Ross, Joan T. Merrill, Felecia Walton, William Reed, Robert J. Winchester, Jill P. Buyon

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49 Scopus citations


C receptor CR3 (iC3b-receptor, CD11b/CD18) plays an essential role in several phagocytic and adhesive neutrophil functions. Recent evidence suggests that stimulus-induced phosphorylation of the CR3 β-chain, CD18, may mediate certain neutrophil functions by transiently converting the molecule to an activated state. Staurosporine, a protein kinase C inhibitor that blocks PMA-induced CD18 phosphorylation, was used to study the functional relevance of this event. Neutrophils adhered to glass were assayed for binding and phagocytosis of iC3b-opsonized sheep E (EC3bi) in the presence or absence of PMA and/or staurosporine. Binding of EC3bi was markedly increased, not only by PMA, but also by staurosporine and by a combination of both agents (three- to sevenfold). The enhancement of rosetting by staurosporine was likely caused by increased surface expression of CR3 via exocytosis of specific granular contents. In contrast, staurosporine alone did not stimulate phagocytosis of EC3bi and markedly inhibited PMA-induced phagocytosis. Staurosporine also inhibited phagocytosis of yeast β glucan particles, a CR3 ligand that, in contrast to EC3bi, is bound and ingested without additional prior treatment with PMA. β glucan phagocytosis was associated with a low level of CD18 phosphorylation. Staurosporine did not block phagocytosis in general, because this agent had relatively little effect on FcR-mediated phagocytosis. These data demonstrate that phagocytosis mediated by CR3 requires activation of CR3 via a staurosporine-sensitive pathway. Increased binding of EC3bi, a function of increased surface expression of CR3, does not require activation of CR3 by such a pathway, confirming previous evidence for the independence of these two phenomena. A direct role for CD18 phosphorylation in the activation of CR3 for phagocytosis is consistent with these data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3557-3562
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 May 1991
Externally publishedYes


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