The EMBO journal

A novel Golgi membrane protein is part of a GTPase-binding protein complex involved in vesicle targeting.

PMID 10970842


Through two-hybrid interactions, protein affinity and localization studies, we previously identified Yip1p, an integral yeast Golgi membrane protein able to bind the Ras-like GTPases Ypt1p and Ypt31p in their GDP-bound conformation. In a further two-hybrid screen, we identified Yif1p as an interacting factor of Yip1p. We show that Yif1p is an evolutionarily conserved, essential 35.5 kDa transmembrane protein that forms a tight complex with Yip1p on Golgi membranes. The hydrophilic N-terminal half of Yif1p faces the cytosol, and according to two-hybrid analyses can interact with the transport GTPases Ypt1p, Ypt31p and Sec4p, but in contrast to Yip1p, this interaction is dispensable for Yif1 protein function. Loss of Yif1p function in conditional-lethal mutants results in a block of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-Golgi protein transport and in an accumulation of ER membranes and 40-50 nm vesicles. Genetic analyses suggest that Yif1p acts downstream of Yip1p. It is inferred that Ypt GTPase binding to the Yip1p-Yif1p complex is essential for and precedes vesicle docking and fusion.