Basolateral sorting of syntaxin 4 is dependent on its N-terminal domain and the AP1B clathrin adaptor, and required for the epithelial cell polarity

Elena Reales, Nikunj Sharma, Seng Hui Low, Heike Fölsch, Thomas Weimbs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Generation of epithelial cell polarity requires mechanisms to sort plasma membrane proteins to the apical and basolateral domains. Sorting involves incorporation into specific vesicular carriers and subsequent fusion to the correct target membranes mediated by specific SNARE proteins. In polarized epithelial cells, the SNARE protein syntaxin 4 localizes exclusively to the basolateral plasma membrane and plays an important role in basolateral trafficking pathways. However, the mechanism of basolateral targeting of syntaxin 4 itself has remained poorly understood. Here we show that newly synthesized syntaxin 4 is directly targeted to the basolateral plasma membrane in polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. Basolateral targeting depends on a signal that is centered around residues 24-29 in the N-terminal domain of syntaxin 4. Furthermore, basolateral targeting of syntaxin 4 is dependent on the epithelial cell-specific clathrin adaptor AP1B. Disruption of the basolateral targeting signal of syntaxin 4 leads to non-polarized delivery to both the apical and basolateral surface, as well as partial intercellular retention in the trans-Golgi network. Importantly, disruption of the basolateral targeting signal of syntaxin 4 leads to the inability of MDCK cells to establish a polarized morphology which suggests that restriction of syntaxin 4 to the basolateral domain is required for epithelial cell polarity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere21181
JournalPloS one
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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