Blaise Ndjamen, Byung-Ho Kang, Kiyotaka Hatsuzawa, Peter E. KimaMacrophages that express representative endoplasmic reticulum (ER) molecules tagged with green fluorescence protein were generated to assess the recruitment of ER molecules to Leishmania parasitophorous vacuoles (PVs). More than 90% of PVs harbouring Leishmania pifanoi or Leishmania donovani parasites recruited calnexin, to their PV membrane. An equivalent proportion of PVs also recruited the membrane-associated soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs), Sec22b. Both ER molecules appeared to be recruited very early in the formation of nascent PVs. Electron microscopy analysis of infected Sec22b/YFP expressing cells confirmed that Sec22b was recruited to Leishmania PVs. In contrast to PVs, it was found that no more than 20% of phagosomes that harboured Zymosan particles recruited calnexin or Sec22b to their limiting phagosomal membrane. The retrograde pathway that ricin employs to access the cell cytosol was exploited to gain further insight into ER[ndash]PV interactions. Ricin was delivered to PVs in infected cells incubated with ricin. Incubation of cells with brefeldin A blocked the transfer of ricin to PVs. This implied that molecules that traffic to the ER are transferred to PVs. Moreover the results show that PVs are hybrid compartments that are composed of both host ER and endocytic pathway components.