Targeting of an apical endosomal protein to endosomes in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells requires two sorting motifs

K. E. Gokay, J. M. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The efficient sorting and targeting of endocytosed macromolecules is critical for epithelial function. However, the distribution of endosomal compartments in these cells remains controversial. In this study, we show that polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells target the apical endosomal protein endotubin into an apical early endosomal compartment that is distinct from the apical recycling endosomes. Furthermore, through a panel of site-directed mutations we show that signals required for apical endosomal targeting of endotubin are composed of two distinct motifs on the cytoplasmic domain, a hydrophobic motif and a consensus casein kinase II site. Endotubin-positive endosomes in MDCK cells do not label with basolaterally internalized transferrin or ricin, do not contain the small guanosine triphosphate-binding protein rab11, and do not tubulate in response to low concentrations of brefeldin-A (BFA). Nevertheless, high concentrations of BFA reversibly inhibits the sorting of endotubin from transferrin and cause colocalization in tubular endosomes. These results indicate that, in polarized cells, endotubin targets into a distinct subset of apical endosomes, and the targeting information required both for polarity and endosomal targeting is provided by the cytoplasmic portion of the molecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-365
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Apical
  • Endosomes
  • Epithelia
  • Membrane trafficking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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