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J Cell Biol. 1992 Oct;119(1):69-83.

Membrane protein sorting in the yeast secretory pathway: evidence that the vacuole may be the default compartment.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene 97403.


The targeting signals of two yeast integral membrane dipeptidyl aminopeptidases (DPAPs), DPAP B and DPAP A, which reside in the vacuole and the Golgi apparatus, respectively, were analyzed. No single domain of DPAP B is required for delivery to the vacuolar membrane, because removal or replacement of either the cytoplasmic, transmembrane, or lumenal domain did not affect the protein's transport to the vacuole. DPAP A was localized by indirect immunofluorescence to non-vacuolar, punctate structures characteristic of the yeast Golgi apparatus. The 118-amino acid cytoplasmic domain of DPAP A is sufficient for retention of the protein in these structures, since replacement of the cytoplasmic domain of DPAP B with that of DPAP A resulted in an immunolocalization pattern indistinguishable from that of wild type DPAP A. Overproduction of DPAP A resulted in its mislocalization to the vacuole, because cells expressing high levels of DPAP A exhibited vacuolar as well as Golgi staining. Deletion of 22 residues of the DPAP A cytoplasmic domain resulted in mislocalization of the mutant protein to the vacuole. Thus, the cytoplasmic domain of DPAP A is both necessary and sufficient for Golgi retention, and removal of the retention signal, or saturation of the retention apparatus by overproducing DPAP A, resulted in transport to the vacuole. Like wild type DPAP B, the delivery of mutant membrane proteins to the vacuole was unaffected in the secretory vesicle-blocked sec1 mutant; thus, transport to the vacuole was not via the plasma membrane followed by endocytosis. These data are consistent with a model in which membrane proteins are delivered to the vacuole along a default pathway.

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