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Eukaryot Cell. 2007 Aug;6(8):1266-77. Epub 2007 May 18.

Split-ubiquitin two-hybrid assay to analyze protein-protein interactions at the endosome: application to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Bro1 interacting with ESCRT complexes, the Doa4 ubiquitin hydrolase, and the Rsp5 ubiquitin ligase.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Physiologie Moléculaire de la Cellule, Institut de Biologie et de Médecine Moléculaires (IBMM), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Gosselies, Belgium.


Targeting of membrane proteins into the lysosomal/vacuolar lumen for degradation requires their prior sorting into multivesicular bodies (MVB). The MVB sorting pathway depends on ESCRT-0, -I, -II, and -III protein complexes functioning on the endosomal membrane and on additional factors, such as Bro1/Alix and the ubiquitin ligase Rsp5/Nedd4. We used the split-ubiquitin two-hybrid assay to analyze the interaction partners of yeast Bro1 at its natural cellular location. We show that Bro1 interacts with ESCRT-I and -III components, including Vps23, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae homologue of human Tsg101. These interactions do not require the C-terminal proline-rich domain (PRD) of Bro1. Rather, this PRD interacts with the Doa4 deubiquitinating enzyme to recruit it to the endosome. This interaction is disrupted by a single amino acid substitution in the conserved ELC box motif in Doa4. The PRD of Bro1 also mediates an association with Rsp5, and this interaction appears to be conserved, as Alix, the human homologue of Bro1, coimmunoprecipitates with Nedd4 in yeast lysates. We further show that the Bro1 PRD domain is essential to MVB sorting of only cargo proteins whose sorting to the vacuolar lumen is dependent on their own ubiquitination and Doa4. The Bro1 region preceding the PRD, however, is required for MVB sorting of proteins irrespective of whether their targeting to the vacuole is dependent on their ubiquitination and Doa4. Our data indicate that Bro1 interacts with several ESCRT components and contributes via its PRD to associating ubiquitinating and deubiquitinating enzymes with the MVB sorting machinery.

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