Indexed on: 18 May '06Published on: 18 May '06Published in: FEBS Journal
Endocytic and biosynthetic trafficking pathways to the lysosome/vacuole converge at the prevacuolar endosomal compartment. During transport through this compartment, integral membrane proteins that are destined for delivery to the lysosome/vacuole lumen undergo multivesicular body (MVB) sorting into internal vesicles formed by invagination of the endosomal limiting membrane. Vps4 is an AAA family ATPase which plays a key role in MVB sorting and facilitates transport through endosomes. It possesses an N-terminal microtubule interacting and trafficking domain required for recruitment to endosomes and an AAA domain with an ATPase catalytic site. The recently solved 3D structure revealed a beta domain, which protrudes from the AAA domain, and a final C-terminal alpha-helix. However, the in vivo roles of these domains are not known. In this study, we have identified motifs in these domains that are highly conserved between yeast and human Vps4. We have mutated these motifs and studied the effect on yeast Vps4p function in vivo and in vitro. We show that the beta domain of the budding yeast Vps4p is not required for recruitment to endosomes, but is essential for all Vps4p endocytic functions in vivo. We also show that the beta domain is required for Vps4p homotypic interaction and for full ATPase activity. In addition, it is required for interaction with Vta1p, which works in concert with Vps4p in vivo. Our studies suggest that assembly of a Vps4p oligomeric complex with full ATPase activity that interacts with Vta1p is essential for normal endosome function.