Scientific article
Open access

The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein homolog MLN64, a late endosomal cholesterol-binding protein

Published inThe Journal of biological chemistry, vol. 276, no. 6, p. 4261-4269
Publication date2001-02-09

MLN64 is a transmembrane protein that shares homology with the cholesterol binding domain (START domain) of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein. The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein is located in the inner membrane of mitochondria, where it facilitates cholesterol import into the mitochondria. Crystallographic analysis showed that the START domain of MLN64 is a cholesterol-binding domain. The present work was undertaken to determine which step of the intracellular cholesterol pathway MLN64 participates in. Using immunocytofluorescence, MLN64 colocalizes with LBPA, a lipid found specifically in late endosomes. Electron microscopy indicates that MLN64 is restricted to the limiting membrane of late endosomes. Microinjection or endocytosis of specific antibodies shows that the START domain of MLN64 is cytoplasmic. Deletion and mutagenesis experiments demonstrate that the aminoterminal part of MLN64 is responsible for its addressing. Although this domain does not contain conventional dileucine- or tyrosine-based targeting signals, we show that a dileucine motif (Leu66-Leu67) and a tyrosine residue (Tyr89) are critical for the targeting or the proper folding of the molecule. Finally, MLN64 colocolizes with cholesterol and Niemann Pick C1 protein in late endosomes. However, complementation assays show that MLN64 is not involved in the Niemann Pick C2 disease which, results in cholesterol lysosomal accumulation. Together, our results show that MLNL64 plays a role at the surface of the late endosomes, where it might shuttle cholesterol from the limiting membrane to cytoplasmic acceptor(s).

Citation (ISO format)
ALPY, Fabien et al. The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein homolog MLN64, a late endosomal cholesterol-binding protein. In: The Journal of biological chemistry, 2001, vol. 276, n° 6, p. 4261–4269. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M006279200
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ISSN of the journal0021-9258

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