VIP17/MAL, a lipid raft-associated protein, is involved in apical transport in MDCK cells

Kwang Ho Cheong, Daniele Zacchetti, Eveline E. Schneeberger, Kai Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Apical proteins are sorted and delivered from the trans-Golgi network to the plasma membrane by a mechanism involving sphingolipid-cholesterol rafts. In this paper, we report the effects of changing the levels of VIP17/MAL, a tetraspan membrane protein localized to post-Golgi transport containers and the apical cell surface in MDCK cells. Overexpression of VIP17/MAL disturbed the morphology of the MDCK cell layers by increasing apical delivery and seemingly expanding the apical cell surface domains. On the other hand, expression of antisense RNA directed against VIP17/MAL caused accumulation in the Golgi and/or impaired apical transport of different apical protein markers, i.e., influenza virus hemagglutinin, the secretory protein clusterin (gp80), the transmembrane protein gp114, and a glycosylphosphatidylinositol- anchored protein. However, antisense RNA expression did not affect the distribution of E-cadherin to the basolateral surface. Because VIP17/MAL associates with sphingolipid-cholesterol rafts, these data provide functional evidence that this protein is involved in apical transport and might be a component of the machinery clustering lipid rafts with apical cargo to form apical transport carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6241-6248
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - May 25 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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