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Traffic. 2000 Oct;1(10):783-93.

Weibel-Palade body membrane proteins exhibit differential trafficking after exocytosis in endothelial cells.

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MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London, Gower St, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Weibel-Palade bodies, the secretory granules of endothelial cells, possess two different membrane proteins. However, P-selectin is seen only in Weibel-Palade bodies in HUVECs, whereas CD63 is also seen in late endosomes/lysosomes. Since P-selectin is targeted to lysosomes in heterologous expression studies, we have determined whether a lysosomal targeting signal also operates within HUVECs. We have also examined the trafficking of CD63 to its two different intracellular locations. By following antibodies bound at the plasma membrane during stimulation, we have discovered that while half of the P-selectin recycles to the WPBs, 50% is rapidly delivered to a lamp-1-positive compartment. Thus, the lysosomal targeting signal of this protein also operates in HUVECs. CD63 is found constitutively at the cell surface of HUVECs and most of it is delivered to the late endosomes/lysosomes after internalisation. However, stimulation causes both a rise in the CD63 plasma membrane level and in the amount that recycles to the WPBs. Our data strongly suggest that the CD63 that originates in the WPB preferentially recycles to the granule rather than being delivered to the late endosome/lysosome, and that there are, therefore, two separate pools of this protein within HUVECs. Our findings indicate that although P-selectin and CD63 are both targeted to the same compartments from the PM, the kinetics and the ratio of their targeting to Weibel-Palade bodies versus lysosomes are very different.

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