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Mol Biol Cell. 2006 Sep;17(9):4027-38. Epub 2006 Jul 12.

BLOC-1 interacts with BLOC-2 and the AP-3 complex to facilitate protein trafficking on endosomes.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


The adaptor protein (AP)-3 complex is a component of the cellular machinery that controls protein sorting from endosomes to lysosomes and specialized related organelles such as melanosomes. Mutations in an AP-3 subunit underlie a form of Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS), a disorder characterized by abnormalities in lysosome-related organelles. HPS in humans can also be caused by mutations in genes encoding subunits of three complexes of unclear function, named biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex (BLOC)-1, -2, and -3. Here, we report that BLOC-1 interacts physically and functionally with AP-3 to facilitate the trafficking of a known AP-3 cargo, CD63, and of tyrosinase-related protein 1 (Tyrp1), a melanosomal membrane protein previously thought to traffic only independently of AP-3. BLOC-1 also interacts with BLOC-2 to facilitate Tyrp1 trafficking by a mechanism apparently independent of AP-3 function. Both BLOC-1 and -2 localize mainly to early endosome-associated tubules as determined by immunoelectron microscopy. These findings support the idea that BLOC-1 and -2 represent hitherto unknown components of the endosomal protein trafficking machinery.

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