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EMBO J. 1994 Apr 1;13(7):1706-17.

The Saccharomyces cerevisiae APS1 gene encodes a homolog of the small subunit of the mammalian clathrin AP-1 complex: evidence for functional interaction with clathrin at the Golgi complex.

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Molecular Biology Institute, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


Clathrin-associated protein (AP) complexes have been implicated in the assembly of clathrin coats and the selectivity of clathrin-mediated protein transport processes. We have identified a yeast gene, APS1, encoding a homolog of the small (referred to herein as sigma) subunits of the mammalian AP-1 complex. Sequence comparisons have shown that Aps1p is more similar to the sigma subunit of the Golgi-localized mammalian AP-1 complex than Aps2p, which is more related to the plasma membrane AP-2 sigma subunit. Like their mammalian counterparts, Aps1p and Aps2p are components of distinct, large (> 200 kDa) complexes and a significant portion of the Aps proteins co-fractionate with clathrin-coated vesicles during gel filtration chromatography. Unexpectedly, even though the evolutionary conservation of AP small subunits is substantial (50% identity between mammalian and yeast proteins), disruptions of APS1 (aps1 delta) and APS2 (aps2 delta), individually or in combination, elicit no detectable mutant phenotypes. These data indicate that the Aps proteins are not absolutely required for clathrin-mediated selective protein transport in cells expressing wild type clathrin. However, aps1 delta accentuated the slow growth and alpha-factor pheromone maturation defect of cells carrying a temperature-sensitive allele of clathrin heavy chain (Chc) (chc1-ts). In contrast, aps1 delta did not influence the effects of chc1-ts on vacuolar protein sorting or receptor-mediated endocytosis. The aps2 delta mutation resulted in a slight effect on chc1-ts cell growth but had no additional effects. The growth defect of cells completely lacking Chc was compounded by aps1 delta but not aps2 delta. These results comprise evidence that Aps1p is involved in a subset of clathrin functions at the Golgi apparatus. The effect of aps1 delta on cells devoid of clathrin function suggests that Aps1p also participates in clathrin-independent processes.

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