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J Cell Sci. 2010 May 15;123(Pt 10):1705-15. doi: 10.1242/jcs.062950. Epub 2010 Apr 27.

Selective export of human GPI-anchored proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum.

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Biozentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 70, 4056 Basel, Switzerland.


Selective export of transmembrane proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) relies on recognition of cytosolic-domain-localized transport signals by the Sec24 subunit of the COPII vesicle coat. Human cells express four Sec24 isoforms, termed Sec24A, Sec24B, Sec24C and Sec24D that are differentially required for selective, signal-mediated ER export of transmembrane proteins. By contrast, luminally exposed glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane proteins cannot bind directly to Sec24 and must either use membrane-spanning cargo receptors or alternative mechanisms for ER export. Little is known about the mechanism underlying export of GPI-anchored proteins from the ER in higher eukaryotes. Using siRNA-based silencing, we identified that ER-to-Golgi transport of the human GPI-anchored protein CD59 requires Sec24, with preference for the Sec24C and Sec24D isoforms, and the recycling transmembrane protein complex p24-p23 that exhibited the same Sec24C-Sec24D isoform preference for ER export. Co-immunoprecipitation indicated unprecedented physical interaction of CD59 as well as a GFP-folate-receptor-GPI-anchor hybrid with a p24-p23 complex. Density gradient centrifugation revealed co-partitioning of CD59 and p24-p23 into biosynthetically early lipid raft fractions, and CD59 transport to the Golgi was cholesterol dependent. The results suggest that the 24p-23p complex acts as a cargo receptor for GPI-anchored proteins by facilitating their export from the ER in a Sec24-isoform-selective manner involving lipid rafts as early sorting platforms.

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