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Mol Biol Cell. 2005 Jul;16(7):3273-88. Epub 2005 Apr 20.

Genetic analysis of lysosomal trafficking in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR 97219, USA. hermann@lclark.edu


The intestinal cells of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos contain prominent, birefringent gut granules that we show are lysosome-related organelles. Gut granules are labeled by lysosomal markers, and their formation is disrupted in embryos depleted of AP-3 subunits, VPS-16, and VPS-41. We define a class of gut granule loss (glo) mutants that are defective in gut granule biogenesis. We show that the glo-1 gene encodes a predicted Rab GTPase that localizes to lysosome-related gut granules in the intestine and that glo-4 encodes a possible GLO-1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor. These and other glo genes are homologous to genes implicated in the biogenesis of specialized, lysosome-related organelles such as melanosomes in mammals and pigment granules in Drosophila. The glo mutants thus provide a simple model system for the analysis of lysosome-related organelle biogenesis in animal cells.

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