An unconventional dileucine-based motif and a novel cytosolic motif are required for the lysosomal and melanosomal targeting of OA1

Rosanna Piccirillo, Ilaria Palmisano, Giulio Innamorati, Paola Bagnato, Domenico Altimare, Maria Vittoria Schiaffino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The protein product of the gene responsible for ocular albinism type 1, named OA1, is a pigment-cell-specific membrane glycoprotein, displaying features of G-protein-coupled receptors, yet exclusively localized to late endosomes, lysosomes and melanosomes. To dissect the signals responsible for the intracellular localization of OA1, we generated chimeric proteins consisting of the cytosolic domains of OA1 fused to the lumenal and transmembrane domains of LAMP1; in addition, we generated missense and deletion mutants of full-length OA1. Using this approach, we identified two separate sorting signals that are both necessary and sufficient for intracellular retention, as well as lysosomal and melanosomal localization, in melanocytic and non-melanocytic cells. These sorting signals are an unconventional dileucine motif within the third cytosolic loop and a novel motif, characterized by a tryptophan-glutamic acid doublet, within the C-terminal tail. Both motifs must be mutated to promote the plasma membrane localization of OA1, suggesting that they can independently drive its intracellular targeting. In addition, both motifs act similarly as lysosomal sorting signals in non-melanocytic cells, but appear to carry different specificities in melanocytic cells. Our findings indicate that OA1 contains multiple unconventional signals responsible for its lysosomal and melanosomal localization, and reveal a remarkable and unforeseen complexity in the regulation of polytopic protein sorting to specialized secretory organelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2003-2014
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Volume119
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2006

Keywords

  • GPCR
  • Lysosome
  • Melanosome
  • Ocular albinism
  • Sorting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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