Trpml controls actomyosin contractility and couples migration to phagocytosis in fly macrophages
Phagocytes use their actomyosin cytoskeleton to migrate as well as to probe their environment by phagocytosis or macropinocytosis. Although migration and extracellular material uptake have been shown to be coupled in some immune cells, the mechanisms involved in such coupling are largely unknown. By combining time-lapse imaging with genetics, we here identify the lysosomal Ca2+ channel Trpml as an essential player in the coupling of cell locomotion and phagocytosis in hemocytes, the Drosophila macrophage-like immune cells. Trpml is needed for both hemocyte migration and phagocytic processing at distinct subcellular localizations: Trpml regulates hemocyte migration by controlling actomyosin contractility at the cell rear, whereas its role in phagocytic processing lies near the phagocytic cup in a myosin-independent fashion. We further highlight that Vamp7 also regulates phagocytic processing and locomotion but uses pathways distinct from those of Trpml. Our results suggest that multiple mechanisms may have emerged during evolution to couple phagocytic processing to cell migration and facilitate space exploration by immune cells.