Clathrin functions in the absence of heterotetrameric adaptors and AP180‐related proteins in yeast

Kristen M. Huang, Kathleen D'Hondt, Howard Riezman, Sandra K. Lemmon

Author Affiliations

  1. Kristen M. Huang1,
  2. Kathleen D'Hondt2,
  3. Howard Riezman2 and
  4. Sandra K. Lemmon*,1
  1. 1 Case Western Reserve University, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Cleveland, OH, 44106‐4960, USA
  2. 2 Biozentrum of the University of Basel, CH‐4056, Basel, Switzerland
  1. *Corresponding author. E-mail: skl{at}
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The major coat proteins of clathrin‐coated vesicles are the clathrin triskelion and heterotetrameric associated protein (AP) complexes. The APs are thought to be involved in cargo capture and recruitment of clathrin to the membrane during endocytosis and sorting in the trans‐Golgi network/endosomal system. AP180 is an abundant coat protein in brain clathrin‐coated vesicles, and it has potent clathrin assembly activity. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, there are 13 genes encoding homologs of heterotetrameric AP subunits and two genes encoding AP180‐related proteins. To test the model that clathrin function is dependent on the heterotetrameric APs and/or AP180 homologs, yeast strains containing multiple disruptions in AP subunit genes, as well as in the two YAP180 genes, were constructed. Surprisingly, the AP deletion strains did not display the phenotypes associated with clathrin deficiency, including slowed growth and endocytosis, defective late Golgi protein retention and impaired cytosol to vacuole/autophagy function. Clathrin‐coated vesicles isolated from multiple AP deletion mutants were morphologically indistinguishable from those from wild‐type cells. These results indicate that clathrin function and recruitment onto membranes are not dependent upon heterotetrameric adaptors or AP180 homologs in yeast. Therefore, alternative mechanisms for clathrin assembly and coated vesicle formation, as well as the role of AP complexes and AP180‐related proteins in these processes, must be considered.

  • Received March 26, 1999.
  • Revision received May 27, 1999.
  • Accepted May 27, 1999.
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