Experimental cell research

hVPS41 is expressed in multiple isoforms and can associate with vesicles through a RING-H2 finger motif.

PMID 11412045


Vps41p, the protein encoded by the yeast gene VPS41, has been shown to mediate formation of AP-3 transport vesicles from the Golgi apparatus and to facilitate the docking and fusion of lysosomal vesicles. Although both of these activities involve transient association with membrane structures, the mechanisms that mediate those interactions have not been determined. Orthologues of VPS41 have been identified in humans, Drosophila, tomato, and Arabidopsis; the degree of sequence similarity among these genes suggests a highly conserved function. Here we provide evidence that hVps41, the human homologue of Vps41p, is expressed in two isoforms that differ in that one contains a C-terminal RING-H2 sequence motif. Transient expression analysis suggests that this RING-H2 domain is responsible for membrane association. This observation was further supported by the cytosolic localization of site-specific mutants. A truncated construct containing only the hVps41 RING-H2 domain was found to associate with a class of intracellular vesicles that originated from the Golgi and showed partial coincidence with the delta subunit of the adaptor protein complex-3. Together with information from the homologous yeast system, these results suggest that hVps41 may also be involved in the formation and fusion of transport vesicles from the Golgi.