Endosomal sorting of VAMP3 is regulated by PI4K2A

J Cell Sci. 2014 Sep 1;127(Pt 17):3745-56. doi: 10.1242/jcs.148809. Epub 2014 Jul 7.


Specificity of membrane fusion in vesicular trafficking is dependent on proper subcellular distribution of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs). Although SNARE complexes are fairly promiscuous in vitro, substantial specificity is achieved in cells owing to the spatial segregation and shielding of SNARE motifs prior to association with cognate Q-SNAREs. In this study, we identified phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIα (PI4K2A) as a binding partner of vesicle-associated membrane protein 3 (VAMP3), a small R-SNARE involved in recycling and retrograde transport, and found that the two proteins co-reside on tubulo-vesicular endosomes. PI4K2A knockdown inhibited VAMP3 trafficking to perinuclear membranes and impaired the rate of VAMP3-mediated recycling of the transferrin receptor. Moreover, depletion of PI4K2A significantly decreased association of VAMP3 with its cognate Q-SNARE Vti1a. Although binding of VAMP3 to PI4K2A did not require kinase activity, acute depletion of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns4P) on endosomes significantly delayed VAMP3 trafficking. Modulation of SNARE function by phospholipids had previously been proposed based on in vitro studies, and our study provides mechanistic evidence in support of these claims by identifying PI4K2A and PtdIns4P as regulators of an R-SNARE in intact cells.

Keywords: PI4K2A; PtdIns4P; SNARE; Sorting; VAMP3; Vesicle fusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fusion / physiology
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Receptors, Transferrin / metabolism
  • SNARE Proteins / metabolism*
  • Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 3 / metabolism*
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism*


  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Receptors, Transferrin
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 3
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • phosphatidylinositol phosphate 4-kinase