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1.  A global analysis of SNX27-retromer assembly and cargo specificity reveals a function in glucose and metal ion transport 
Nature cell biology  2013;15(5):461-471.
The PDZ domain-containing sorting nexin 27 (SNX27) promotes recycling of internalized transmembrane proteins from endosomes to the plasma membrane by linking PDZ-dependent cargo recognition to retromer-mediated transport. Here, we employed quantitative proteomics of the SNX27 interactome alongside quantification of the surface proteome of SNX27 and retromer-suppressed cells to dissect the assembly of the SNX27 complex and provide an unbiased global view of SNX27-mediated sorting. Over 100 cell surface proteins, many of which interact with SNX27, including the glucose transporter GLUT1, the Menkes disease copper transporter ATP7A, various zinc and amino acid transporters, and numerous signalling receptors require SNX27-retromer to prevent lysosomal degradation and maintain surface levels. Furthermore, we establish that direct interaction of the SNX27 PDZ domain with the retromer subunit VPS26 is necessary and sufficient to prevent lysosomal entry of SNX27 cargo. Our data identify the SNX27-retromer as a major endosomal recycling hub required to maintain cellular nutrient homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC4052425  PMID: 23563491
2.  A SNX3-dependent Retromer pathway mediates retrograde transport of the Wnt sorting receptor Wntless and is required for Wnt secretion 
Nature cell biology  2011;13(8):914-923.
Wnt proteins are lipid modified glycoproteins that play a central role in development, adult tissue homeostasis and disease. Secretion of Wnt proteins is mediated by the Wnt-binding protein Wntless (Wls), which transports Wnt from the Golgi network to the cell surface for release. It has recently been shown that recycling of Wls through a retromer-dependent endosome-to-Golgi trafficking pathway is required for efficient Wnt secretion, but the mechanism of this retrograde transport pathway is poorly understood. Here, we report that Wls recycling is mediated through a novel retromer pathway that is independent of the retromer sorting nexins SNX1-SNX2 and SNX5-SNX6. We found that the unrelated sorting nexin, SNX3, has an evolutionarily conserved function in Wls recycling and Wnt secretion and show that SNX3 interacts directly with the cargo-selective sub-complex of the retromer to sort Wls into a morphologically distinct retrieval pathway. These results demonstrate that SNX3 is part of an alternative retromer pathway that functionally separates the retrograde transport of Wls from other retromer cargo.
PMCID: PMC4052212  PMID: 21725319
3.  Grd19/Snx3p functions as a cargo-specific adapter for retromer-dependent endocytic recycling 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;177(1):115-125.
Amajor function of the endocytic system is the sorting of cargo to various organelles. Endocytic sorting of the yeast reductive iron transporter, which is composed of the Fet3 and Ftr1 proteins, is regulated by available iron. When iron is provided to iron-starved cells, Fet3p–Ftr1p is targeted to the lysosome-like vacuole and degraded. In contrast, when iron is not available, Fet3p–Ftr1p is maintained on the plasma membrane via an endocytic recycling pathway requiring the sorting nexin Grd19/Snx3p, the pentameric retromer complex, and the Ypt6p Golgi Rab GTPase module. A recycling signal in Ftr1p was identified and found to bind directly to Grd19/Snx3p. Retromer and Grd19/Snx3p partially colocalize to tubular endosomes, where they are physically associated. After export from the endosome, Fet3p–Ftr1p transits through the Golgi apparatus for resecretion. Thus, Grd19/Snx3p, functions as a cargo-specific adapter for the retromer complex, establishing a precedent for a mechanism by which sorting nexins expand the repertoire of retromer-dependent cargos.
PMCID: PMC2064116  PMID: 17420293
4.  SNX27 mediates retromer tubule entry and endosome-to-plasma membrane trafficking of signaling receptors 
Nature cell biology  2011;13(6):715-721.
Endocytic sorting of signaling receptors between recycling and degradative pathways is a key cellular process controlling the surface complement of receptors and, accordingly, the cell’s ability to respond to specific extracellular stimuli. The beta-2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) is a prototypical seven-transmembrane signaling receptor that recycles rapidly and efficiently to the plasma membrane after ligand-induced endocytosis. β2AR recycling is dependent on the receptor’s C-terminal PDZ ligand and Rab41,2. This active sorting process is required for functional resensitization of β2AR-mediated signaling3,4. Here we show that sequence-directed sorting occurs at the level of entry into retromer tubules and that retromer tubules are associated with Rab4. Further, we show that sorting nexin 27 (SNX27) serves as an essential adapter protein linking β2ARs to the retromer tubule. SNX27 does not appear to directly interact with the retromer core complex, but does interact with the retromer associated Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein and SCAR Homolog (WASH) complex. The present results identify a role for retromer in endocytic trafficking of signaling receptors, in regulating a receptor-linked signaling pathway, and in mediating direct endosome-to-plasma membrane traffic.
PMCID: PMC3113693  PMID: 21602791
5.  The Retromer Coat Complex Coordinates Endosomal Sorting and Dynein-Mediated Transport, with Carrier Recognition by the trans-Golgi Network 
Developmental Cell  2009;17(1):110-122.
Early endosome-to-trans-Golgi network (TGN) transport is organized by the retromer complex. Consisting of cargo-selective and membrane-bound subcomplexes, retromer coordinates sorting with membrane deformation and carrier formation. Here, we describe four mammalian retromers whose membrane-bound subcomplexes contain specific combinations of the sorting nexins (SNX), SNX1, SNX2, SNX5, and SNX6. We establish that retromer requires a dynamic spatial organization of the endosomal network, which is regulated through association of SNX5/SNX6 with the p150glued component of dynactin, an activator of the minus-end directed microtubule motor dynein; an association further defined through genetic studies in C. elegans. Finally, we also establish that the spatial organization of the retromer pathway is mediated through the association of SNX1 with the proposed TGN-localized tether Rab6-interacting protein-1. These interactions describe fundamental steps in retromer-mediated transport and establish that the spatial organization of the retromer network is a critical element required for efficient retromer-mediated sorting.
PMCID: PMC2714578  PMID: 19619496
6.  Retromer Binding to FAM21 and the WASH Complex Is Perturbed by the Parkinson Disease-Linked VPS35(D620N) Mutation 
Current Biology  2014;24(14):1670-1676.
Retromer is a protein assembly that plays a central role in orchestrating export of transmembrane-spanning cargo proteins from endosomes into retrieval pathways destined for the Golgi apparatus and the plasma membrane [1]. Recently, a specific mutation in the retromer component VPS35, VPS35(D620N), has linked retromer dysfunction to familial autosomal dominant and sporadic Parkinson disease [2, 3]. However, the effect of this mutation on retromer function remains poorly characterized. Here we established that in cells expressing VPS35(D620N) there is a perturbation in endosome-to-TGN transport but not endosome-to-plasma membrane recycling, which we confirm in patient cells harboring the VPS35(D620N) mutation. Through comparative stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC)-based analysis of wild-type VPS35 versus the VPS35(D620N) mutant interactomes, we establish that the major defect of the D620N mutation lies in the association to the actin-nucleating Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and SCAR homolog (WASH) complex. Moreover, using isothermal calorimetry, we establish that the primary defect of the VPS35(D620N) mutant is a 2.2 ± 0.5-fold decrease in affinity for the WASH complex component FAM21. These data define the primary molecular defect in retromer assembly that arises from the VPS35(D620N) mutation and, by revealing functional effects on retromer-mediated endosome-to-TGN transport, provide new insight into retromer deregulation in Parkinson disease.
•VPS35(D620N) mutation leads to a defect in endosome-to-TGN transport•Mutant has a perturbed association with the actin-polymerizing WASH complex•Primary defect is a reduced affinity for binding WASH component FAM21•Provides new molecular insight into retromer deregulation in Parkinson disease
Using quantitative proteomics and functional analysis in patient-derived fibroblasts, McGough et al. define the primary molecular defect associated with the Parkinson disease-linked retromer VPS35(D620N) mutation and, by revealing effects on retromer-mediated endosome-to-TGN transport, provide new insight into retromer deregulation in this disease.
PMCID: PMC4110399  PMID: 24980502
7.  Retromer Regulates HIV-1 Envelope Glycoprotein Trafficking and Incorporation into Virions 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(11):e1004518.
The envelope glycoprotein (Env) of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1 (HIV-1) is a critical determinant of viral infectivity, tropism and is the main target for humoral immunity; however, little is known about the cellular machinery that directs Env trafficking and its incorporation into nascent virions. Here we identify the mammalian retromer complex as a novel and important cellular factor regulating Env trafficking. Retromer mediates endosomal sorting and is most closely associated with endosome-to-Golgi transport. Consistent with this function, inactivating retromer using RNAi targeting the cargo selective trimer complex inhibited retrograde trafficking of endocytosed Env to the Golgi. Notably, in HIV-1 infected cells, inactivating retromer modulated plasma membrane expression of Env, along with Env incorporation into virions and particle infectivity. Mutagenesis studies coupled with coimmunoprecipitations revealed that retromer-mediated trafficking requires the Env cytoplasmic tail that we show binds directly to retromer components Vps35 and Vps26. Taken together these results provide novel insight into regulation of HIV-1 Env trafficking and infectious HIV-1 morphogenesis and show for the first time a role for retromer in the late-steps of viral replication and assembly of a virus.
Author Summary
Virus assembly necessitates the hijacking of the host cell machinery in order for new infectious viral particles to be constructed and disseminate. The envelope glycoprotein (Env) of HIV is a critical determinant of viral infectivity and is also a major target for antiviral immune responses. The long cytoplasmic tail of HIV Env plays an essential role in the assembly of infectious virions and limiting exposure of Env to the immune system, but the cellular machinery that transports HIV Env in virus-infected cells remain poorly understood. Here we have identified the mammalian retromer complex involved in endosomal sorting as a novel cellular factor regulating Env trafficking in virus-infected cells. We show that inactivating retromer alters Env localization, cell surface expression and incorporation into virions and that retromer binds directly to the Env cytoplasmic tail to perform these functions. This study defines an important pathway of Env transport and describes for the first time a role for this highly conserved cellular complex in assembly of a virus.
PMCID: PMC4231165  PMID: 25393110
8.  SNX3 controls Wingless/Wnt secretion through regulating retromer-dependent recycling of Wntless 
Cell Research  2011;21(12):1677-1690.
Drosophila Wingless (Wg) acts as a morphogen during development. Wg secretion is controlled by a seven-pass transmembrane cargo Wntless (Wls). We have recently identified retromer as a key regulator involved in Wls trafficking. As sorting nexin (SNX) molecules are essential components of the retromer complex, we hypothesized that specific SNX(s) is required for retromer-mediated Wnt secretion. Here, we generated Drosophila mutants for all of the eight snx members, and identified Drosophila SNX3 (DSNX3) as an essential molecule required for Wg secretion. We show that Wg secretion and its signaling activity are defective in Dsnx3 mutant clones in wing discs. Wg levels in the culture medium of Dsnx3-depleted S2 cells are also markedly reduced. Importantly, Wls levels are strikingly reduced in Dsnx3 mutant cells, and overexpression of Wls can rescue the Wg secretion defect observed in Dsnx3 mutant cells. Moreover, DSNX3 can interact with the retromer component Vps35, and co-localize with Vps35 in early endosomes. These data indicate that DSNX3 regulates Wg secretion via retromer-dependent Wls recycling. In contrast, we found that Wg secretion is not defective in cells mutant for Drosophila snx1 and snx6, two components of the classical retromer complex. Ectopic expression of DSNX1 or DSNX6 fails to rescue the Wg secretion defect in Dsnx3 mutant wing discs and in Dsnx3 dsRNA-treated S2 cells. These data demonstrate the specificity of the DSNX3-retromer complex in Wls recycling. Together, our findings suggest that DSNX3 acts as a cargo-specific component of retromer, which is required for endocytic recycling of Wls and Wg/Wnt secretion.
PMCID: PMC3357989  PMID: 22041890
Drosophila SNX3 (DSNX3); Wnt; Wingless (Wg); Wntless (Wls); retromer; signaling
9.  Direct Binding of Retromer to Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Minor Capsid Protein L2 Mediates Endosome Exit during Viral Infection 
PLoS Pathogens  2015;11(2):e1004699.
Trafficking of human papillomaviruses to the Golgi apparatus during virus entry requires retromer, an endosomal coat protein complex that mediates the vesicular transport of cellular transmembrane proteins from the endosome to the Golgi apparatus or the plasma membrane. Here we show that the HPV16 L2 minor capsid protein is a retromer cargo, even though L2 is not a transmembrane protein. We show that direct binding of retromer to a conserved sequence in the carboxy-terminus of L2 is required for exit of L2 from the early endosome and delivery to the trans-Golgi network during virus entry. This binding site is different from known retromer binding motifs and can be replaced by a sorting signal from a cellular retromer cargo. Thus, HPV16 is an unconventional particulate retromer cargo, and retromer binding initiates retrograde transport of viral components from the endosome to the trans-Golgi network during virus entry. We propose that the carboxy-terminal segment of L2 protein protrudes through the endosomal membrane and is accessed by retromer in the cytoplasm.
Author Summary
The human papillomaviruses are important carcinogens, but little is known about how these non-enveloped viruses traffic to the nucleus, the site of genome replication. We use imaging, biochemical, and genetic techniques to show that a multi-subunit intracellular trafficking machine known as retromer binds directly to the L2 minor capsid protein in the virus particle to initiate its transport from the endosome to other membrane-bound organelles farther inside the cell. Most notably, knock-down of retromer expression or mutation of newly identified retromer binding sites in L2 cause the accumulation of incoming HPV16 capsids in the endosome and prevent trafficking to the Golgi. These defects can be corrected by insertion of a retromer binding site from a cellular cargo. Because all previously known retromer cargoes are cellular transmembrane proteins, the virus represents a new class of retromer cargo. In addition to elucidating the mechanism of viral endosome escape, these results suggest that retromer may play a more versatile role in cell biology than previously recognized.
PMCID: PMC4334968  PMID: 25693203
10.  Opposing Activities of the Snx3-Retromer Complex and ESCRT Proteins Mediate Regulated Cargo Sorting at a Common Endosome 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(11):4694-4706.
Endocytosed proteins are either delivered to the lysosome to be degraded or are exported from the endosomal system and delivered to other organelles. Sorting of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae reductive iron transporter, composed of the Fet3 and Ftr1 proteins, in the endosomal system is regulated by available iron; in iron-starved cells, Fet3-Ftr1 is sorted by Snx3/Grd19 and retromer into a recycling pathway that delivers it back to the plasma membrane, but when starved cells are exposed to iron, Fet3-Ftr1 is targeted to the lysosome-like vacuole and is degraded. We report that iron-induced endocytosis of Fet3-Ftr1 is independent of Fet3-Ftr1 ubiquitylation, and after endocytosis, degradation of Fet3-Ftr1 is mediated by the multivesicular body (MVB) sorting pathway. In mutant cells lacking any component of the ESCRT protein-dependent MVB sorting machinery, the Rsp5 ubiquitin ligase, or in wild-type cells expressing Fet3-Ftr1 lacking cytosolic lysyl ubiquitin acceptor sites, Fet3-Ftr1 is constitutively sorted into the recycling pathway independent of iron status. In the presence and absence of iron, Fet3-Ftr1 transits an endosomal compartment where a subunit of the MVB sorting receptor (Vps27), Snx3/Grd19, and retromer proteins colocalize. We propose that this endosome is where Rsp5 ubiquitylates Fet3-Ftr1 and where the recycling and degradative pathways diverge.
PMCID: PMC2575174  PMID: 18768754
Experimental cell research  2006;313(4):707-718.
Retromer is a multimeric protein complex that mediates intracellular receptor sorting. One of the roles of retromer is to promote transcytosis of the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) and its ligand polymeric immunoglobulin A (pIgA) in polarized epithelial cells. In Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells, overexpression of Vps35, the retromer subunit key for cargo recognition, restores transcytosis to a pIgR mutant that is normally degraded. Here we show that pIgA transcytosis was not restored in these cells when treated with the specific phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002. Likewise, the decrease in pIgA transcytosis by wild-type pIgR seen upon PI3K inhibition was not reverted by Vps35 overexpression. PI3K inhibition reduced membrane association of sorting-nexins (SNX) 1 and 2, which constitute the retromer subcomplex involved in membrane deformation, while association of the Vps35-Vps26-Vps29 subcomplex, involved in cargo recognition, remained virtually unaffected. Colocalization between the two retromer subcomplexes was reduced upon the treatment. Whereas the interaction among the subunits of the Vps35-Vps26-Vps29 subcomplex remained unchanged, less Vps35 was found associated with pIgR upon PI3K inhibition. In addition, colocalization of internalized pIgA with subunits of both retromer subcomplexes throughout the transcytotic pathway was substantially reduced by LY294002 treatment. These data implicate PI3K in controlling retromer’s role in pIgR-pIgA transcytosis.
PMCID: PMC1810347  PMID: 17184770
MDCK; receptor; pIgR; transcytosis; retromer; Vps35; sorting-nexin; phosphoinositide; phosphatidylinositol; LY294002
12.  Retromer guides STxB and CD8-M6PR from early to recycling endosomes, EHD1 guides STxB from recycling endosome to Golgi 
Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)  2012;13(8):1140-1159.
Retrograde trafficking transports proteins, lipids and toxins from the plasma membrane to the Golgi and ER. To reach the Golgi, these cargos must transit the endosomal system, consisting of early endosomes, recycling endosomes, late endosomes and lysosomes. All cargos pass through early endosomes, but may take different routes to the Golgi. Retromer dependent cargos bypass the late endosomes to reach the Golgi. We compared how two very different retromer dependent cargos negotiate the endosomal sorting system. Shiga toxin B, bound to the external layer of the plasma membrane, and chimeric CD8-Mannose-6-Phosphate Receptor, which is anchored via a transmembrane domain. Both appear to pass through the recycling endosome. Ablation of the recycling endosome diverted both of these cargos to an aberrant compartment and prevented them from reaching the Golgi. Once in the recycling endosome, Shiga toxin required EHD1 to traffic to the TGN, while the CD8-Mannose-6-Phosphate Receptor was not significantly dependent on EHD1. Knockdown of retromer components left cargo in the early endosomes, suggesting that it is required for retrograde exit from this compartment. This work establishes the recycling endosome as a required step in retrograde traffic of at least these two retromer dependent cargos. Along this pathway, retromer is associated with EE to recycling endosome traffic, while EHD1 is associated with recycling endosome to TGN traffic of STxB.
PMCID: PMC3396774  PMID: 22540229
Cation-independent Mannose 6-phosphate receptor; Membrane Traffic; EHD1; SNX1; BSC-1; Endosomes; Endocytosis; Retrograde Traffic; Retromer; Shiga Toxin; Shiga B; Recycling Endosome; Early Endosome; VPS26
13.  Rab5-family guanine nucleotide exchange factors bind retromer and promote its recruitment to endosomes 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2015;26(6):1119-1128.
The retromer complex regulates vesicle transport at endosomes. Different members of the VPS9 domain–containing Rab5-family guanine nucleotide exchange factors interact with the yeast retromer complex and mediate its endosomal localization.
The retromer complex facilitates the sorting of integral membrane proteins from the endosome to the late Golgi. In mammalian cells, the efficient recruitment of retromer to endosomes requires the lipid phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI3P) as well as Rab5 and Rab7 GTPases. However, in yeast, the role of Rabs in recruiting retromer to endosomes is less clear. We identified novel physical interactions between retromer and the Saccharomyces cerevisiae VPS9-domain Rab5-family guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) Muk1 and Vps9. Furthermore, we identified a new yeast VPS9 domain-containing protein, VARP-like 1 (Vrl1), which is related to the human VARP protein. All three VPS9 domain–containing proteins show localization to endosomes, and the presence of any one of them is necessary for the endosomal recruitment of retromer. We find that expression of an active VPS9-domain protein is required for correct localization of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase Vps34 and the production of endosomal PI3P. These results suggest that VPS9 GEFs promote retromer recruitment by establishing PI3P-enriched domains at the endosomal membrane. The interaction of retromer with distinct VPS9 GEFs could thus link GEF-dependent regulatory inputs to the temporal or spatial coordination of retromer assembly or function.
PMCID: PMC4357511  PMID: 25609093
14.  Identification of molecular heterogeneity in SNX27–retromer-mediated endosome-to-plasma-membrane recycling 
Journal of Cell Science  2014;127(22):4940-4953.
Retromer is a protein assembly that orchestrates the sorting of transmembrane cargo proteins into endosome-to-Golgi and endosome-to-plasma-membrane transport pathways. Here, we have employed quantitative proteomics to define the interactome of human VPS35, the core retromer component. This has identified a number of new interacting proteins, including ankyrin-repeat domain 50 (ANKRD50), seriologically defined colon cancer antigen 3 (SDCCAG3) and VPS9-ankyrin-repeat protein (VARP, also known as ANKRD27). Depletion of these proteins resulted in trafficking defects of retromer-dependent cargo, but differential and cargo-specific effects suggested a surprising degree of functional heterogeneity in retromer-mediated endosome-to-plasma-membrane sorting. Extending this, suppression of the retromer-associated WASH complex did not uniformly affect retromer cargo, thereby confirming cargo-specific functions for retromer-interacting proteins. Further analysis of the retromer–VARP interaction identified a role for retromer in endosome-to-melanosome transport. Suppression of VPS35 led to mistrafficking of the melanogenic enzymes, tyrosinase and tryrosine-related protein 1 (Tyrp1), establishing that retromer acts in concert with VARP in this trafficking pathway. Overall, these data reveal hidden complexities in retromer-mediated sorting and open up new directions in our molecular understanding of this essential sorting complex.
PMCID: PMC4231307  PMID: 25278552
SNX27; VARP; VPS35; Retromer; Sorting nexin
15.  Regulation of retromer recruitment to endosomes by sequential action of Rab5 and Rab7 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2008;183(3):513-526.
The retromer complex mediates retrograde transport of transmembrane cargo from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Mammalian retromer is composed of a sorting nexin (SNX) dimer that binds to phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate–enriched endosomal membranes and a vacuolar protein sorting (Vps) 26/29/35 trimer that participates in cargo recognition. The mammalian SNX dimer is necessary but not sufficient for recruitment of the Vps26/29/35 trimer to membranes. In this study, we demonstrate that the guanosine triphosphatase Rab7 contributes to this recruitment. The Vps26/29/35 trimer specifically binds to Rab7–guanosine triphosphate (GTP) and localizes to Rab7-containing endosomal domains. Interference with Rab7 function causes dissociation of the Vps26/29/35 trimer but not the SNX dimer from membranes. This blocks retrieval of mannose 6-phosphate receptors to the TGN and impairs cathepsin D sorting. Rab5-GTP does not bind to the Vps26/29/35 trimer, but perturbation of Rab5 function causes dissociation of both the SNX and Vps26/29/35 components from membranes through inhibition of a pathway involving phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. These findings demonstrate that Rab5 and Rab7 act in concert to regulate retromer recruitment to endosomes.
PMCID: PMC2575791  PMID: 18981234
16.  Rab GTPase regulation of retromer-mediated cargo export during endosome maturation 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(13):2505-2515.
Retromer complex mediates the sorting of cargo from the endosome to the Golgi apparatus. At the endosome, recognition of Ypt7 (Rab7) by the Vps35 retromer subunit is essential for the cargo export step of the retromer functional cycle. Retromer also controls Ypt7-regulated fusion dynamics of the late endovacuolar system.
The retromer complex, composed of sorting nexin subunits and a Vps26/Vps29/Vps35 trimer, mediates sorting of retrograde cargo from the endosome to the trans-Golgi network. The retromer trimer subcomplex is an effector of Rab7 (Ypt7 in yeast). Whereas endosome targeting of human retromer has been shown to require Rab7-GTP, targeting of yeast retromer to the endosome is independent of Ypt7-GTP and requires the Vps5 and Vps17 retromer sorting nexin subunits. An evolutionarily conserved amino acid segment within Vps35 is required for Ypt7/Rab7 recognition in vivo by both yeast and human retromer, establishing that Rab recognition is a conserved feature of this subunit. Recognition of Ypt7 by retromer is required for its function in retrograde sorting, and in yeast cells lacking the guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Ypt7, retrograde cargo accumulates in endosomes that are decorated with retromer, revealing an additional role for Rab recognition at the cargo export stage of the retromer functional cycle. In addition, yeast retromer trimer antagonizes Ypt7-regulated organelle tethering and fusion of endosomes/vacuoles via recognition of Ypt7. Thus retromer has dual roles in retrograde cargo export and in controlling the fusion dynamics of the late endovacuolar system.
PMCID: PMC3386214  PMID: 22593205
17.  Multiple repeat elements within the FAM21 tail link the WASH actin regulatory complex to the retromer 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(12):2352-2361.
The WASH complex controls actin dynamics on endosomes, and its functional mechanism is poorly defined. The WASH complex subunit Fam21 bears many copies of a novel motif that directly interacts with the retromer cargo-selective complex. Endosomal localization of FAM21 requires both the retromer and multivalency of the repeat elements.
Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein (WASPs) control actin dynamics in cellular processes, including cell motility, receptor-mediated endocytosis, bacterial invasion, and vesicular trafficking. We demonstrated that WASH, a recently identified WASP family protein, colocalizes on endosomal subdomains with the cargo-selective complex (CSC) of the retromer, where it regulates retrograde sorting from endosomes in an actin-dependent manner. However, the mechanism of WASH recruitment to these retromer-enriched endosomal subdomains is unclear. Here we show that a component of the WASH regulatory complex (SHRC), FAM21, which contains 21 copies of a novel L-F-[D/E]3-10-L-F motif, directly interacts with the retromer CSC protein VPS35. Endosomal localization of FAM21 is VPS35 dependent and relies on multivalency of FAM21 repeat elements. Using a combination of pull-down assays and isothermal calorimetry, we demonstrate that individual repeats can bind CSC, and binding affinity varies among different FAM21 repeats. A high-affinity repeat can be converted into a low-affinity one by mutation of a hydrophobic residue within the motif. These in vitro data mirror the localization of FAM21 to retromer-coated vesicles in cells. We propose that multivalency enables FAM21 to sense the density of retromer on membranes, allowing coordination of SHRC recruitment, and consequent actin polymerization, with retromer sorting domain organization/maturation.
PMCID: PMC3374753  PMID: 22513087
18.  SNX17 protects integrins from degradation by sorting between lysosomal and recycling pathways 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2012;197(2):219-230.
Retrieval of β integrins from the lysosomal degradation pathway mediated by sorting nexin-17 is important for integrin recycling and regulation of cell migration.
The FERM-like domain–containing sorting nexins of the SNX17/SNX27/SNX31 family have been proposed to mediate retrieval of transmembrane proteins from the lysosomal pathway. In this paper, we describe a stable isotope labeling with amino acids in culture–based quantitative proteomic approach that allows an unbiased, global identification of transmembrane cargoes that are rescued from lysosomal degradation by SNX17. This screen revealed that several integrins required SNX17 for their stability, as depletion of SNX17 led to a loss of β1 and β5 integrins and associated a subunits from HeLa cells as a result of increased lysosomal degradation. SNX17 bound to the membrane distal NPXY motif in β integrin cytoplasmic tails, thereby preventing lysosomal degradation of β integrins and their associated a subunits. Furthermore, SNX17-dependent retrieval of integrins did not depend on the retromer complex. Consistent with an effect on integrin recycling, depletion of SNX17 also caused alterations in cell migration. Our data provide mechanistic insight into the retrieval of internalized integrins from the lysosomal degradation pathway, a prerequisite for subsequent recycling of these matrix receptors.
PMCID: PMC3328392  PMID: 22492727
19.  SNX17 regulates Notch pathway and pancreas development through the retromer-dependent recycling of Jag1 
Cell Regeneration  2012;1(1):4.
Notch is one of the most important signaling pathways involved in cell fate determination. Activation of the Notch pathway requires the binding of a membrane-bound ligand to the Notch receptor in the adjacent cell which induces proteolytic cleavages and the activation of the receptor. A unique feature of the Notch signaling is that processes such as modification, endocytosis or recycling of the ligand have been reported to play critical roles during Notch signaling, however, the underlying molecular mechanism appears context-dependent and often controversial.
Here we identified SNX17 as a novel regulator of the Notch pathway. SNX17 is a sorting nexin family protein implicated in vesicular trafficking and we find it is specifically required in the ligand-expressing cells for Notch signaling. Mechanistically, SNX17 regulates the protein level of Jag1a on plasma membrane by binding to Jag1a and facilitating the retromer-dependent recycling of the ligand. In zebrafish, inhibition of this SNX17-mediated Notch signaling pathway results in defects in neurogenesis as well as pancreas development.
Our results reveal that SNX17, by acting as a cargo-specific adaptor, promotes the retromer dependent recycling of Jag1a and Notch signaling and this pathway is involved in cell fate determination during zebrafish neurogenesis and pancreas development.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2045-9769-1-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4230724  PMID: 25408867
20.  The Retromer Complex Is Required for Rhodopsin Recycling and Its Loss Leads to Photoreceptor Degeneration 
PLoS Biology  2014;12(4):e1001847.
Rhodopsin recycling via the retromer, rather than degradation through lysosomes, can alleviate light-induced photoreceptor degeneration in Drosophila.
Rhodopsin mistrafficking can cause photoreceptor (PR) degeneration. Upon light exposure, activated rhodopsin 1 (Rh1) in Drosophila PRs is internalized via endocytosis and degraded in lysosomes. Whether internalized Rh1 can be recycled is unknown. Here, we show that the retromer complex is expressed in PRs where it is required for recycling endocytosed Rh1 upon light stimulation. In the absence of subunits of the retromer, Rh1 is processed in the endolysosomal pathway, leading to a dramatic increase in late endosomes, lysosomes, and light-dependent PR degeneration. Reducing Rh1 endocytosis or Rh1 levels in retromer mutants alleviates PR degeneration. In addition, increasing retromer abundance suppresses degenerative phenotypes of mutations that affect the endolysosomal system. Finally, expressing human Vps26 suppresses PR degeneration in Vps26 mutant PRs. We propose that the retromer plays a conserved role in recycling rhodopsins to maintain PR function and integrity.
Author Summary
Upon light exposure, rhodopsins—light-sensing proteins in the eye—trigger visual transduction signaling to activate fly photoreceptor cells. After activation, rhodopsins can be internalized from the cell surface into endosomes and then degraded in lysosomes. This mechanism prevents constant activation of the visual transduction pathway, thereby maintaining the function and integrity of photoreceptor cells. It is not known, however, whether these internalized rhodopsins can be recycled. Here, we show that the retromer, an evolutionarily conserved protein complex, is required for the recycling of rhodopsins. We find that loss of key retromer subunits (Vps35 or Vps26) causes rhodopsin mislocalization in the photoreceptors and severe light-induced photoreceptor degeneration. Conversely, gain of retromer subunits can alleviate photoreceptor degeneration in some contexts. Human retromer components can stand in for depleted fruit fly retromer, suggesting that this complex plays a role in recycling light sensors in both vertebrate and invertebrate photoreceptors.
PMCID: PMC4004542  PMID: 24781186
21.  An Essential Role for SNX1 in Lysosomal Sorting of Protease-activated Receptor-1: Evidence for Retromer-, Hrs-, and Tsg101-independent Functions of Sorting Nexins 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2006;17(3):1228-1238.
Sorting nexin 1 (SNX1) and SNX2 are the mammalian homologues of the yeast Vps5p retromer component that functions in endosome-to-Golgi trafficking. SNX1 is also implicated in endosome-to-lysosome sorting of cell surface receptors, although its requirement in this process remains to be determined. To assess SNX1 function in endocytic sorting of protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1), we used siRNA to deplete HeLa cells of endogenous SNX1 protein. PAR1, a G-protein-coupled receptor, is proteolytically activated by thrombin, internalized, sorted predominantly to lysosomes, and efficiently degraded. Strikingly, depletion of endogenous SNX1 by siRNA markedly inhibited agonist-induced PAR1 degradation, whereas expression of a SNX1 siRNA-resistant mutant protein restored agonist-promoted PAR1 degradation in cells lacking endogenous SNX1, indicating that SNX1 is necessary for lysosomal degradation of PAR1. SNX1 is known to interact with components of the mammalian retromer complex and Hrs, an early endosomal membrane-associated protein. However, activated PAR1 degradation was not affected in cells depleted of retromer Vps26/Vps35 subunits, Hrs or Tsg101, an Hrs-interacting protein. We further show that SNX2, which dimerizes with SNX1, is not essential for lysosomal sorting of PAR1, but rather can regulate PAR1 degradation by disrupting endosomal localization of endogenous SNX1 when ectopically expressed. Together, our findings establish an essential role for endogenous SNX1 in sorting activated PAR1 to a distinct lysosomal degradative pathway that is independent of retromer, Hrs, and Tsg101.
PMCID: PMC1382312  PMID: 16407403
22.  Interchangeable but Essential Functions of SNX1 and SNX2 in the Association of Retromer with Endosomes and the Trafficking of Mannose 6-Phosphate Receptors▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;27(3):1112-1124.
The retromer is a cytosolic/peripheral membrane protein complex that mediates the retrieval of the cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor from endosomes to the trans-Golgi network (TGN) in mammalian cells. Previous studies showed that the mammalian retromer comprises three proteins, named Vps26, Vps29, and Vps35, plus the sorting nexin, SNX1. There is conflicting evidence, however, as to whether a homologous sorting nexin, SNX2, is truly a component of the retromer. In addition, the nature of the subunit interactions and assembly of the mammalian retromer complex are poorly understood. We have addressed these issues by performing biochemical and functional analyses of endogenous retromers in the human cell line HeLa. We found that the mammalian retromer complex consists of two autonomously assembling subcomplexes, namely, a Vps26-Vps29-Vps35 obligate heterotrimer and a SNX1/2 alternative heterodimer or homodimer. The association of Vps26-Vps29-Vps35 with endosomes requires the presence of either SNX1 or SNX2, whereas SNX1/2 can be recruited to endosomes independently of Vps26-Vps29-Vps35. We also found that the presence of either SNX1 or SNX2 is essential for the retrieval of the cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate receptor to the TGN. These observations indicate that the mammalian retromer complex assembles by sequential association of SNX1/2 and Vps26-Vps29-Vps35 subcomplexes on endosomal membranes and that SNX1 and SNX2 play interchangeable but essential roles in retromer structure and function.
PMCID: PMC1800681  PMID: 17101778
23.  Inhibition of Retromer Activity by Herpesvirus Saimiri Tip Leads to CD4 Downregulation and Efficient T Cell Transformation ▿  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(20):10627-10638.
The mammalian retromer is an evolutionally conserved protein complex composed of a vacuolar protein sorting trimer (Vps 26/29/35) that participates in cargo recognition and a sorting nexin (SNX) dimer that binds to endosomal membranes. The retromer plays an important role in efficient retrograde transport for endosome-to-Golgi retrieval of the cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor (CI-MPR), a receptor for lysosomal hydrolases, and other endosomal proteins. This ultimately contributes to the control of cell growth, cell adhesion, and cell migration. The herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) tyrosine kinase-interacting protein (Tip), required for the immortalization of primary T lymphocytes, targets cellular signaling molecules, including Lck tyrosine kinases and the p80 endosomal trafficking protein. Despite the pronounced effects of HVS Tip on T cell signal transduction, the details of its activity on T cell immortalization remain elusive. Here, we report that the amino-terminal conserved, glutamate-rich sequence of Tip specifically interacts with the retromer subunit Vps35 and that this interaction not only causes the redistribution of Vps35 from the early endosome to the lysosome but also drastically inhibits retromer activity, as measured by decreased levels of CI-MPR and lower activities of cellular lysosomal hydrolases. Physiologically, the inhibition of intracellular retromer activity by Tip is ultimately linked to the downregulation of CD4 surface expression and to the efficient in vitro immortalization of primary human T cells to interleukin-2 (IL-2)-independent permanent growth. Therefore, HVS Tip uniquely targets the retromer complex to impair the intracellular trafficking functions of infected cells, ultimately contributing to efficient T cell transformation.
PMCID: PMC3187508  PMID: 21849449
24.  Fission of SNX-BAR–coated endosomal retrograde transport carriers is promoted by the dynamin-related protein Vps1 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;204(5):793-806.
Endosomal sorting and fission machineries act together to produce retrograde transport carriers.
Retromer is an endosomal sorting device that orchestrates capture and packaging of cargo into transport carriers coated with sorting nexin BAR domain proteins (SNX-BARs). We report that fission of retromer SNX-BAR–coated tubules from yeast endosomes is promoted by Vps1, a dynamin-related protein that localizes to endosomes decorated by retromer SNX-BARs and Mvp1, a SNX-BAR that is homologous to human SNX8. Mvp1 exhibits potent membrane remodeling activity in vitro, and it promotes association of Vps1 with the endosome in vivo. Retrograde transport carriers bud from the endosome coated by retromer and Mvp1, and cargo export is deficient in mvp1- and vps1-null cells, but with distinct endpoints; cargo export is delayed in mvp1-null cells, but cargo export completely fails in vps1-null cells. The results indicate that Mvp1 promotes Vps1-mediated fission of retromer- and Mvp1-coated tubules that bud from the endosome, revealing a functional link between the endosomal sorting and fission machineries to produce retrograde transport carriers.
PMCID: PMC3941054  PMID: 24567361
25.  Identification of Alzheimer disease associated variants in genes that regulate retromer function 
Neurobiology of Aging  2012;33(9):2231.e15-2231.e30.
The proteolytic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) to generate the neurotoxic Aβ peptide is central to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). The endocytic system mediates the processing of APP by controlling its access to secretases that cleave APP. A key mediator of APP localization is SorL1 – a membrane protein that has been genetically linked to AD. The retromer complex is a conserved protein complex required for endosome-to-Golgi retrieval of a number of physiologically important membrane proteins including SorL1. Based on the prior suggestion that endocytosis and retromer sorting pathways might be involved, we hypothesized that variants in other genes in this pathway might also modulate AD risk. Genetic association of AD with 451 polymorphisms in 15 genes encoding retromer or retromer-associated proteins was tested in a Caucasian sample of 8,309 AD cases and 7,366 cognitively normal elders using individual SNP and gene-based tests. We obtained significant evidence of association with KIAA1033 (Paris p = 0.025), SNX1 (Paris p =0.035), SNX3 (p = 0.0057) and RAB7A (Paris p = 0.018). Ten KIAA1033 SNPs were also significantly associated with AD in a group of African Americans (513 AD cases, 504 controls). Findings with four significant SNX3 SNPs in the discovery sample were replicated in a community-based sample of Israeli-Arabs (124 AD cases, 142 controls). We show that Snx3 and Rab7A proteins interact with the cargo-selective retromer complex through independent mechanisms to regulate the membrane association of retromer and thereby are key mediators of retromer function. These data implicate additional AD risk genes in the retromer pathway and formally demonstrate a direct link between the activity of the retromer complex and the pathogenesis of AD.
PMCID: PMC3391348  PMID: 22673115

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