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J Cell Biol. 2003 Dec 22;163(6):1281-90.

Recognition of dileucine-based sorting signals from HIV-1 Nef and LIMP-II by the AP-1 gamma-sigma1 and AP-3 delta-sigma3 hemicomplexes.

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  • 1Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The sorting of transmembrane proteins to endosomes and lysosomes is mediated by signals present in the cytosolic tails of the proteins. A subset of these signals conform to the [DE]XXXL[LI] consensus motif and mediate sorting via interactions with heterotetrameric adaptor protein (AP) complexes. However, the identity of the AP subunits that recognize these signals remains controversial. We have used a yeast three-hybrid assay to demonstrate that [DE]XXXL[LI]-type signals from the human immunodeficiency virus negative factor protein and the lysosomal integral membrane protein II interact with combinations of the gamma and sigma1 subunits of AP-1 and the delta and sigma3 subunits of AP-3, but not the analogous combinations of AP-2 and AP-4 subunits. The sequence requirements for these interactions are similar to those for binding to the whole AP complexes in vitro and for function of the signals in vivo. These observations reveal a novel mode of recognition of sorting signals involving the gamma/delta and sigma subunits of AP-1 and AP-3.

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