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EMBO J. 2002 Apr 2;21(7):1673-83.

Membrane transport in Caenorhabditis elegans: an essential role for VPS34 at the nuclear membrane.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.


Here we present a detailed genetic analysis of let-512/vps34 that encodes the Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of the yeast phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase Vps34p. LET-512/VPS34 has essential functions and is ubiquitously expressed in all tissues and developmental stages. It accumulates at a perinuclear region, and mutations in let-512/vps34 result in an expansion of the outer nuclear membrane as well as in a mislocalization and subsequent complete lack of expression of LRP-1, a C.elegans LDL receptor normally associated with the apical surface of hypodermal cells. Using a GFP::2xFYVE fusion protein we found that the phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns 3-P) product of LET-512/VPS34 is associated with a multitude of intracellular membranes and vesicles located at the periphery, including endocytic vesicles. We propose that LET-512/VPS34 is required for membrane transport from the outer nuclear membrane towards the cell periphery. Thus, LET-512/VPS34 may regulate the secretory pathway in a much broader range of compartments than was previously suggested for the yeast orthologue.

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