RAB31 marks and controls an ESCRT-independent exosome pathway.

Cell research (2020-09-23)
Denghui Wei, Weixiang Zhan, Ying Gao, Liyan Huang, Run Gong, Wen Wang, Ruhua Zhang, Yuanzhong Wu, Song Gao, Tiebang Kang
ABSTRACT

Exosomes are generated within the multivesicular endosomes (MVEs) as intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) and secreted during the fusion of MVEs with the cell membrane. The mechanisms of exosome biogenesis remain poorly explored. Here we identify that RAB31 marks and controls an ESCRT-independent exosome pathway. Active RAB31, phosphorylated by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), engages flotillin proteins in lipid raft microdomains to drive EGFR entry into MVEs to form ILVs, which is independent of the ESCRT (endosomal sorting complex required for transport) machinery. Active RAB31 interacts with the SPFH domain and drives ILV formation via the Flotillin domain of flotillin proteins. Meanwhile, RAB31 recruits GTPase-activating protein TBC1D2B to inactivate RAB7, thereby preventing the fusion of MVEs with lysosomes and enabling the secretion of ILVs as exosomes. These findings establish that RAB31 has dual functions in the biogenesis of exosomes: driving ILVs formation and suppressing MVEs degradation, providing an exquisite framework to better understand exosome biogenesis.

MATERIALS
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