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EMBO J. 2009 Mar 4;28(5):477-89. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2008.308. Epub 2009 Jan 29.

The novel lipid raft adaptor p18 controls endosome dynamics by anchoring the MEK-ERK pathway to late endosomes.

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Department of Oncogene Research, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.


The regulation of endosome dynamics is crucial for fundamental cellular functions, such as nutrient intake/digestion, membrane protein cycling, cell migration and intracellular signalling. Here, we show that a novel lipid raft adaptor protein, p18, is involved in controlling endosome dynamics by anchoring the MEK1-ERK pathway to late endosomes. p18 is anchored to lipid rafts of late endosomes through its N-terminal unique region. p18(-/-) mice are embryonic lethal and have severe defects in endosome/lysosome organization and membrane protein transport in the visceral endoderm. p18(-/-) cells exhibit apparent defects in endosome dynamics through perinuclear compartment, such as aberrant distribution and/or processing of lysosomes and impaired cycling of Rab11-positive recycling endosomes. p18 specifically binds to the p14-MP1 complex, a scaffold for MEK1. Loss of p18 function excludes the p14-MP1 complex from late endosomes, resulting in a downregulation of the MEK-ERK activity. These results indicate that the lipid raft adaptor p18 is essential for anchoring the MEK-ERK pathway to late endosomes, and shed new light on a role of endosomal MEK-ERK pathway in controlling endosome dynamics.

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