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Sorting nexin 4 and amphiphysin 2, a new partnership between endocytosis and intracellular trafficking.

Leprince C., Le Scolan E., Meunier B., Fraisier V., Brandon N., De Gunzburg J., Camonis J.

Endocytosis is a regulated physiological process by which membrane receptors and their extracellular ligands are internalized. After internalization, they enter the endosomal trafficking pathway for sorting and processing. Amphiphysins consist of a family of proteins conserved throughout evolution that are crucial elements of the endocytosis machinery in mammalian cells. They act as adaptors for a series of proteins important for the endocytic process, such as dynamin. In order to improve our knowledge of amphiphysin function, we performed a two-hybrid screen with the N-terminal part of murine amphiphysin 2 (residues 1-304). One of the interacting clones corresponded to sorting nexin 4 (SNX4), a member of the SNX family of proteins which are suspected to regulate vesicular trafficking. This interaction was confirmed in vivo by co-immunoprecipitation. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that amphiphysin 2 might bind reticulo-vesicular structures present throughout the cell body and be associated with SNX4 on these structures. In an endocytosis assay, overexpressed C-terminal or full-length SNX4 was able to inhibit transferrin receptor endocytosis as efficiently as the SH3 domain of amphiphysin 2. At lower levels of expression, SNX4 colocalized with transferrin-containing vesicles, some of which were also positive for amphiphysin 2. These results indicate that SNX4 may be part of the endocytic machinery or, alternatively, that SNX4 may associate with key elements of endocytosis such as amphiphysin 2 and sequester them when overexpressed. The presence of amphiphysin 2 on intracellular vesicles and its interplay with SNX4, which is likely to take part in intracellular trafficking, suggest that amphiphysin 2 is not only a regulator of the early steps of endocytosis. It could also play a role at the surface of the endocytic vesicle that has just been formed and of the future endosomes, in order to regulate intracellular trafficking.

J. Cell Sci. 116:1937-1948(2003) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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