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J Cell Biol. 2008 Nov 3;183(3):513-26. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200804048.

Regulation of retromer recruitment to endosomes by sequential action of Rab5 and Rab7.

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Cell Biology and Metabolism Program, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The retromer complex mediates retrograde transport of transmembrane cargo from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Mammalian retromer is composed of a sorting nexin (SNX) dimer that binds to phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate-enriched endosomal membranes and a vacuolar protein sorting (Vps) 26/29/35 trimer that participates in cargo recognition. The mammalian SNX dimer is necessary but not sufficient for recruitment of the Vps26/29/35 trimer to membranes. In this study, we demonstrate that the guanosine triphosphatase Rab7 contributes to this recruitment. The Vps26/29/35 trimer specifically binds to Rab7-guanosine triphosphate (GTP) and localizes to Rab7-containing endosomal domains. Interference with Rab7 function causes dissociation of the Vps26/29/35 trimer but not the SNX dimer from membranes. This blocks retrieval of mannose 6-phosphate receptors to the TGN and impairs cathepsin D sorting. Rab5-GTP does not bind to the Vps26/29/35 trimer, but perturbation of Rab5 function causes dissociation of both the SNX and Vps26/29/35 components from membranes through inhibition of a pathway involving phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. These findings demonstrate that Rab5 and Rab7 act in concert to regulate retromer recruitment to endosomes.

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