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Mammalian clathrin-associated protein (AP) complexes, AP-1 (trans-Golgi network) and AP-2 (plasma membrane), are composed of two large subunits of 91-107 kDa, one medium chain (mu) of 47-50 kDa and one small chain (sigma) of 17-19 kDa. Two yeast genes, APM1 and APM2, have been identified that encode proteins related to AP mu chains. APM1, whose sequence was reported previously, codes for a protein of 54 kDa that has greatest similarity to the mammalian 47-kDa mu 1 chain of AP-1. APM2 encodes an AP medium chain-related protein of 605 amino acids (predicted molecular weight of 70 kDa) that is only 30-33% identical to the other family members. In yeast containing a normal clathrin heavy chain gene (CHC1), disruptions of the APM genes, singly or in combination, had no detectable phenotypic consequences. However, deletion of APM1 greatly enhanced the temperature-sensitive growth phenotype and the alpha-factor processing defect displayed by cells carrying a temperature-sensitive allele of the clathrin heavy chain gene. In contrast, deletion of APM2 caused no synthetic phenotypes with clathrin mutants. Biochemical analysis indicated that Apm1p and Apm2p are components of distinct high molecular weight complexes. Apm1p, Apm2p, and clathrin cofractionated in a discrete vesicle population, and the association of Apm1p with the vesicles was disrupted in CHC1 deletion strains. These results suggest that Apm1p is a component of an AP-1-like complex that participates with clathrin in sorting at the trans-Golgi in yeast. We propose that Apm2p represents a new class of AP-medium chain-related proteins that may be involved in a nonclathrin-mediated vesicular transport process in eukaryotic cells.