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Journal of cell science

Signal-dependent export of GABA transporter 1 from the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment is specified by a C-terminal motif.


PMID 18285449

Abstract

The C-terminus of GABA transporter 1 (GAT1, SLC6A1) is required for trafficking of the protein through the secretory pathway to reach its final destination, i.e. the rim of the synaptic specialization. We identified a motif of three hydrophobic residues (569VMI571) that was required for export of GAT1 from the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC). This conclusion was based on the following observations: (i) GAT1-SSS, the mutant in which 569VMI571 was replaced by serine residues, was exported from the ER in a COPII-dependent manner but accumulated in punctate structures and failed to reach the Golgi; (ii) under appropriate conditions (imposing a block at 15 degrees C, disruption of COPI), these structures also contained ERGIC53; (iii) the punctae were part of a dynamic compartment, because it was accessible to a second anterograde cargo [the temperature-sensitive variant of vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSV-G)] and because GAT1-SSS could be retrieved from the punctate structures by addition of a KKxx-based retrieval motif, which supported retrograde transport to the ER. To the best of our knowledge, the VMI-motif of GAT1 provides the first example of a cargo-based motif that specifies export from the ERGIC.

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