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Mol Biol Cell. 1999 Aug;10(8):2687-702.

Clathrin assembly lymphoid myeloid leukemia (CALM) protein: localization in endocytic-coated pits, interactions with clathrin, and the impact of overexpression on clathrin-mediated traffic.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver, Colorado 80111, USA.


The clathrin assembly lymphoid myeloid leukemia (CALM) gene encodes a putative homologue of the clathrin assembly synaptic protein AP180. Hence the biochemical properties, the subcellular localization, and the role in endocytosis of a CALM protein were studied. In vitro binding and coimmunoprecipitation demonstrated that the clathrin heavy chain is the major binding partner of CALM. The bulk of cellular CALM was associated with the membrane fractions of the cell and localized to clathrin-coated areas of the plasma membrane. In the membrane fraction, CALM was present at near stoichiometric amounts relative to clathrin. To perform structure-function analysis of CALM, we engineered chimeric fusion proteins of CALM and its fragments with the green fluorescent protein (GFP). GFP-CALM was targeted to the plasma membrane-coated pits and also found colocalized with clathrin in the Golgi area. High levels of expression of GFP-CALM or its fragments with clathrin-binding activity inhibited the endocytosis of transferrin and epidermal growth factor receptors and altered the steady-state distribution of the mannose-6-phosphate receptor in the cell. In addition, GFP-CALM overexpression caused the loss of clathrin accumulation in the trans-Golgi network area, whereas the localization of the clathrin adaptor protein complex 1 in the trans-Golgi network remained unaffected. The ability of the GFP-tagged fragments of CALM to affect clathrin-mediated processes correlated with the targeting of the fragments to clathrin-coated areas and their clathrin-binding capacities. Clathrin-CALM interaction seems to be regulated by multiple contact interfaces. The C-terminal part of CALM binds clathrin heavy chain, although the full-length protein exhibited maximal ability for interaction. Altogether, the data suggest that CALM is an important component of coated pit internalization machinery, possibly involved in the regulation of clathrin recruitment to the membrane and/or the formation of the coated pit.

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