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Traffic. 2000 Nov;1(11):904-16.

Overexpression of a novel sorting nexin, SNX15, affects endosome morphology and protein trafficking.

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Diabetes Branch, National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Sorting nexin (SNX) 15 is a novel member of the SNX family of proteins. Although the functions of most SNXs have not yet been determined, several family members (e.g., SNX1, SNX2, SNX3, and SNX8) are orthologs of yeast proteins involved in protein trafficking. Overexpression of myc-tagged SNX15 in COS-7 cells altered the morphology of several endosomal compartments. In transient transfection experiments, myc-SNX15 was first seen in small punctate spots and small ring structures. Later, myc-SNX15 was found in larger rings. Finally, myc-SNX15 was observed in large, amorphous membrane-limited structures. These structures contained proteins from lysosomes, late endosomes, early endosomes, and the trans-Golgi network. However, the morphology of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi was not affected by overexpression of myc-SNX15. In myc-SNX15-overexpressing cells, the endocytosis of transferrin was severely inhibited and endocytosis of tac-trans-Golgi network (TGN) 38 and tac-furin was slowed. In addition, the recycling of internalized tac-TGN38 and tac-furin was also inhibited. Both the morphological and biochemical data indicate that SNX15 plays a crucial role in trafficking through the endocytic pathway. This is the first demonstration that a mammalian SNX protein is involved in protein trafficking.

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