The identification and characterisation of Rab4 interacting proteins

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Lindsay, Andrew J.
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University College Cork
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Rab4 is a member of the Rab superfamily of small GTPases. It is localized to the early sorting endosome and plays a role in regulating the transport from this compartment to the recycling and degradative pathways. In order to further our understanding of the role Rab4 plays in endocytosis, a yeast two-hybrid screen was performed to identify putative Rab4 effectors. A constitutively active mutant of Rab4, Rab4Q67L, when used as bait to screen a HeLa cDNA library, identified a novel 80kDa protein that interacted with Rab4-GTP. This protein was called Rab Coupling Protein (RCP). RCP interacts preferentially with the GTP-bound form of Rab4. Subsequent work demonstrated that RCP also interacts with Rab11, and that this interaction is not nucleotide-depenedent. RCP is predominantly membrane-bound and localised to the perinuclear recycling compartment. Expression of a truncation mutant of RCP, that contains the Rab binding domain, in HeLa cells, results in the formation of an extensive tubular network that can be labelled with transferrin. These tubules are derived from the recycling compartment since they are inaccessible to transferrin when the ligand is internalised at 18oC. The truncation mutant-induced morphology can be rescued by overexpression of active Rab11, but not active Rab4. This suggests that RCP functions between Rab4 and Rab11 in the receptor recycling pathway, and may act as a ‘molecular bridge’ between these two sequentially acting small GTPases. Quantitative assays demonstrated that overexpression of the truncation mutant results in a dramatic inhibition in the rate of receptor recycling. Database analysis revealed that RCP belongs to a family of Rab interacting proteins, each characterised by a carboxy-terminal coiled-coil domain and an amino-terminal phospholipid-binding domain. KIAA0941, an RCP homologue, interacts with Rab11, but not with Rab4. Overexpression of its Rab binding domain also results in a tubular network, however, this tubulation cannot be rescued by active Rab11.
Rab4 , Rab coupling protein (RCP) , Endocytosis , GTPase
Lindsay, Andrew J. 2001. The identification and characterisation of Rab4 interacting proteins. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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