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Traffic. 2006 Jul;7(7):889-902.

The lysosomal trafficking of acid sphingomyelinase is mediated by sortilin and mannose 6-phosphate receptor.

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1
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, McGill University, 3640 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A 2B2.

Abstract

Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), a member of the saposin-like protein (SAPLIP) family, is a lysosomal hydrolase that converts sphingomyelin to ceramide. Deficiency of ASM causes a variant form of Niemann-Pick disease. The mechanism of lysosomal targeting of ASM is poorly known. Previous studies suggest that ASM could use in part the mannose 6-phosphate receptor (M6P-Rc). Sortilin, a type I transmembrane glycoprotein that belongs to a novel family of receptor proteins, presents structural features of receptors involved in lysosomal targeting. In this study we examined the hypothesis that sortilin may be implicated in the trafficking of ASM to the lysosomes. Using a dominant-negative sortilin construct lacking the cytoplasmic tail, which is essential to recruit adaptor proteins and clathrin, we demonstrated that sortilin is also involved in the lysosomal targeting of ASM. Confocal microscopy revealed that truncated sortilin partially inhibited the lysosomal trafficking of ASM in COS-7 cells and abolished the lysosomal targeting of ASM in I-cells. Pulse-chase experiments corroborated that sortilin is involved in normal sorting of newly synthesized ASM. Furthermore, over-expression of truncated sortilin accelerated and enhanced the secretion of ASM from COS-7 cells and I-cells. Co-immunoprecipitation assays confirmed the interaction between sortilin and ASM. In conclusion, ASM uses sortilin as an alternative receptor to be targeted to the lysosomes.

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