CLIC4 is a member of the chloride intracellular channel (CLIC) protein family whose principal cellular functions are poorly understood. Recently, we demonstrated that several CLIC proteins, including CLIC4, interact with AKAP350. AKAP350 is concentrated at the Golgi apparatus, centrosome, and midbody and acts as a scaffolding protein for several protein kinases and phosphatases. In this report, we show that endogenous CLIC4 and AKAP350 colocalize at the centrosome and midbody of cultured cells by immunofluorescence microscopy. Unlike AKAP350, CLIC4 is not enriched in the Golgi apparatus but is enriched in mitochondria, actin-based structures at the cell cortex, and the nuclear matrix, indicating that CLIC4-AKAP350 interactions are regulated at specific subcellular sites in vivo. In addition to the centrosome and midbody, CLIC4 colocalizes with AKAP350 and the tight junction protein ZO-1 in the apical region of polarized epithelial cells, suggesting that CLIC4 may play a role in maintaining apical-basolateral membrane polarity during mitosis and cytokinesis. Biochemical studies show that CLIC4 behaves mainly as a soluble cytosolic protein and can associate with proteins of the microtubule cytoskeleton. The localization of CLIC4 to the cortical actin cytoskeleton and its association with AKAP350 at the centrosome and midbody suggests that CLIC4 may be important for regulating cytoskeletal organization during the cell cycle. These findings lead to the conclusion that CLIC4 and possibly other CLIC proteins have alternate cellular functions that are distinct from their proposed roles as chloride channels.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.