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Intracellular protein routing is mediated by vesicular transport which is tightly regulated in eukaryotes. The protein and lipid homeostasis depends on coordinated delivery of de novo synthesized or recycled cargoes to the plasma membrane by exocytosis and their subsequent removal by rerouting them for recycling or degradation. Here, we report the characterization of protein affected trafficking 3 (pat3) mutant that we identified by an epifluorescence-based forward genetic screen for mutants defective in subcellular distribution of Arabidopsis auxin transporter PIN1-GFP. While pat3 displays largely normal plant morphology and development in nutrient-rich conditions, it shows strong ectopic intracellular accumulations of different plasma membrane cargoes in structures that resemble prevacuolar compartments (PVC) with an aberrant morphology. Genetic mapping revealed that pat3 is defective in vacuolar protein sorting 35A (VPS35A), a putative subunit of the retromer complex that mediates retrograde trafficking between the PVC and trans-Golgi network. Similarly, a mutant defective in another retromer subunit, vps29, shows comparable subcellular defects in PVC morphology and protein accumulation. Thus, our data provide evidence that the retromer components VPS35A and VPS29 are essential for normal PVC morphology and normal trafficking of plasma membrane proteins in plants. In addition, we show that, out of the three VPS35 retromer subunits present in Arabidopsis thaliana genome, the VPS35 homolog A plays a prevailing role in trafficking to the lytic vacuole, presenting another level of complexity in the retromer-dependent vacuolar sorting.


Tomasz Nodzynski, Mugurel I Feraru, Sibylle Hirsch, Riet De Rycke, Claudiu Niculaes, Wout Boerjan, Jelle Van Leene, Geert De Jaeger, Steffen Vanneste, Jirí Friml. Retromer subunits VPS35A and VPS29 mediate prevacuolar compartment (PVC) function in Arabidopsis. Molecular plant. 2013 Nov;6(6):1849-62

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PMID: 23770835

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