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Mol Biol Cell. 2003 Oct;14(10):4114-25. Epub 2003 Aug 7.

The retrieval function of the KDEL receptor requires PKA phosphorylation of its C-terminus.

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Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Seville, 41012 Seville, Spain.

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  • Mol Biol Cell. 2004 Jan;15(1):preceding Table of Contents.


The KDEL receptor is a Golgi/intermediate compartment-located integral membrane protein that carries out the retrieval of escaped ER proteins bearing a C-terminal KDEL sequence. This occurs throughout retrograde traffic mediated by COPI-coated transport carriers. The role of the C-terminal cytoplasmic domain of the KDEL receptor in this process has been investigated. Deletion of this domain did not affect receptor subcellular localization although cells expressing this truncated form of the receptor failed to retain KDEL ligands intracellularly. Permeabilized cells incubated with ATP and GTP exhibited tubular processes-mediated redistribution from the Golgi area to the ER of the wild-type receptor, whereas the truncated form lacking the C-terminal domain remained concentrated in the Golgi. As revealed with a peptide-binding assay, this domain did not interact with both coatomer and ARF-GAP unless serine 209 was mutated to aspartic acid. In contrast, alanine replacement of serine 209 inhibited coatomer/ARF-GAP recruitment, receptor redistribution into the ER, and intracellular retention of KDEL ligands. Serine 209 was phosphorylated by both cytosolic and recombinant protein kinase A (PKA) catalytic subunit. Inhibition of endogenous PKA activity with H89 blocked Golgi-ER transport of the native receptor but did not affect redistribution to the ER of a mutated form bearing aspartic acid at position 209. We conclude that PKA phosphorylation of serine 209 is required for the retrograde transport of the KDEL receptor from the Golgi complex to the ER from which the retrieval of proteins bearing the KDEL signal depends.

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