The Journal of cell biology

Recognition of dileucine-based sorting signals from HIV-1 Nef and LIMP-II by the AP-1 gamma-sigma1 and AP-3 delta-sigma3 hemicomplexes.

PMID 14691137


The sorting of transmembrane proteins to endosomes and lysosomes is mediated by signals present in the cytosolic tails of the proteins. A subset of these signals conform to the [DE]XXXL[LI] consensus motif and mediate sorting via interactions with heterotetrameric adaptor protein (AP) complexes. However, the identity of the AP subunits that recognize these signals remains controversial. We have used a yeast three-hybrid assay to demonstrate that [DE]XXXL[LI]-type signals from the human immunodeficiency virus negative factor protein and the lysosomal integral membrane protein II interact with combinations of the gamma and sigma1 subunits of AP-1 and the delta and sigma3 subunits of AP-3, but not the analogous combinations of AP-2 and AP-4 subunits. The sequence requirements for these interactions are similar to those for binding to the whole AP complexes in vitro and for function of the signals in vivo. These observations reveal a novel mode of recognition of sorting signals involving the gamma/delta and sigma subunits of AP-1 and AP-3.