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J Cell Biol. 1999 Aug 23;146(4):765-76.

VAMP-7 mediates vesicular transport from endosomes to lysosomes.

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Medical School, University of Utrecht, Institute for Biomembranes, 3584CX Utrecht, The Netherlands.


A more complete picture of the molecules that are critical for the organization of membrane compartments is beginning to emerge through the characterization of proteins in the vesicle-associated membrane protein (also called synaptobrevin) family of membrane trafficking proteins. To better understand the mechanisms of membrane trafficking within the endocytic pathway, we generated a series of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies against the cytoplasmic domain of vesicle-associated membrane protein 7 (VAMP-7). The antibodies recognize a 25-kD membrane-associated protein in multiple tissues and cell lines. Immunohistochemical analysis reveals colocalization with a marker of late endosomes and lysosomes, lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP-1), but not with other membrane markers, including p115 and transferrin receptor. Treatment with nocodozole or brefeldin A does not disrupt the colocalization of VAMP-7 and LAMP-1. Immunoelectron microscopy analysis shows that VAMP-7 is most concentrated in the trans-Golgi network region of the cell as well as late endosomes and transport vesicles that do not contain the mannose-6 phosphate receptor. In streptolysin- O-permeabilized cells, antibodies against VAMP-7 inhibit the breakdown of epidermal growth factor but not the recycling of transferrin. These data are consistent with a role for VAMP-7 in the vesicular transport of proteins from the early endosome to the lysosome.

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