Membrane fusion along the endocytic pathway occurs in a sequence of tethering, docking, and fusion. At endosomes and vacuoles, the CORVET (class C core vacuole/endosome tethering) and HOPS (homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting) tethering complexes require their organelle-specific Rabs for localization and function. Until now, despite the absence of experimental evidence, it has been assumed that CORVET is a membrane-tethering factor. To test this theory and understand the mechanistic analogies with the HOPS complex, we set up an in vitro system, and establish CORVET as a bona-fide tether for Vps21-positive endosome/vacuole membranes. Purified CORVET binds to SNAREs and Rab5/Vps21-GTP. We then demonstrate that purified CORVET can specifically tether Vps21-positive membranes. Tethering via CORVET is dose-dependent, stimulated by the GEF Vps9, and inhibited by Msb3, the Vps21-GAP. Moreover, CORVET supports fusion of isolated membranes containing Vps21. In agreement with its role as a tether, overexpressed CORVET drives Vps21, but not the HOPS-specific Ypt7 into contact sites between vacuoles, which likely represent vacuole-associated endosomes. We therefore conclude that CORVET is a tethering complex that promotes fusion of Rab5-positive membranes and thus facilitates receptor down-regulation and recycling at the late endosome.
"In analogy, it is likely that the Vps41-homolog Vps8 and the Vps39-like Vps3 subunit are positioned similarly in CORVET. Indeed, both complexes can tether Vps21 and Ypt7-decorated membranes in vitro.17-19 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endosomal and vacuole fusion depends on the two homologous tethering complexes CORVET and HOPS. HOPS binds the activated Rab GTPase Ypt7 via two distinct subunits, Vps39 and Vps41. To understand the participation and possible polarity of Vps41 and Vps39 during tethering, we used an in vivo approach. For this, we established the ligand-induced relocalization to the plasma membrane, using the Mon1-Ccz1 GEF complex that activates Ypt7 on endosomes. We then employed slight overexpression to compare the mobility of the HOPS-specific Vps41 and Vps39 subunits during this process. Our data indicate an asymmetry in the Rab-specific interaction of the two HOPS subunits: Vps39 is more tightly bound to the vacuole, and relocalizes the entire vacuole to the plasma membrane, whereas Vps41 behaved like the more mobile subunit. This is due to their specific Rab binding, as the mobility of both subunits was similar in ypt7∆ cells. In contrast, both HOPS subunits were far less mobile if tagged endogenously, suggesting that the entire HOPS complex is tightly bound to the vacuole in vivo. Similar results were obtained for the endosomal association of CORVET, when we followed its Rab-specific subunit Vps8. Our data provide in vivo evidence for distinct Rab specificity within HOPS, which may explain its function during tethering, and indicate that these tethering complexes are less mobile within the cell than previously anticipated.
"Endosomes contain at least two characterized Rab effectors that function in fusion, the dimeric early endosomal antigen (EEA1) and similar coiled-coil tethers – and the heterohexameric CORVET complex , . Whereas EEA1 seems to have a function restricted to heterotypic fusion of endocytic vesicles with early endosomes , , CORVET has been implicated in endosome-endosome fusion in yeasts , , . CORVET, like its sibling, the late endosomal/vacuolar HOPS complex, is a heterohexamer , , , , . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endosomal biogenesis depends on multiple fusion and fission events. For fusion, the heterohexameric CORVET complex as an effector of the endosomal Rab5/Vps21 GTPase has a central function in the initial tethering event. Here, we show that the CORVET-specific Vps3 and Vps8 subunits, which interact with Rab5/Vps21, require their N-terminal domains for localization and function. Surprisingly, CORVET may lack either one of the two N-terminal domains, but not both, to promote protein sorting via the endosome. The dually truncated complex mislocalizes to the cytosol and is impaired in endocytic protein sorting, but not in assembly. Furthermore, the endosomal localization can be rescued by overexpression of Vps21 or one of the truncated CORVET subunits, even though CORVET assembly is not impaired by loss of the N-terminal domains or in strains lacking all endosomal Rab5s and Ypt7. We thus conclude that CORVET requires only its C-terminal domains for assembly and has beyond its putative β-propeller domains additional binding sites for endosomes, which could be important to bind Vps21 and other endosome-specific factors for efficient endosome tethering.
PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e67307. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0067307 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein and lipid transport along the endolysosomal system of eukaryotic cells depends on multiple fusion and fission events. Over the past few years, the molecular constituents of both fission and fusion machineries have been identified. Here, we focus on the mechanism of membrane fusion at endosomes, vacuoles and lysosomes, and in particular on the role of the two homologous tethering complexes called CORVET and HOPS. Both complexes are heterohexamers; they share four subunits, interact with Rab GTPases and soluble NSF attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) and can tether membranes. Owing to the presence of specific subunits, CORVET is a Rab5 effector complex, whereas HOPS can bind efficiently to late endosomes and lysosomes through Rab7. Based on the recently described overall structure of the HOPS complex and a number of in vivo and in vitro analyses, important insights into their function have been obtained. Here, we discuss the general function of both complexes in yeast and in metazoan cells in the context of endosomal biogenesis and maturation.
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