Following antigen recognition, B cell receptor (BCR)-mediated endocytosis is the first step of antigen processing and presentation to CD4+ T cells, a crucial component of the initiation and control of the humoral immune response. Despite this, the molecular mechanism of BCR internalization is poorly understood. Recently, studies of activated B cell-like diffuse large B cell lymphoma (ABC DLBCL) have shown that mutations within the BCR subunit CD79b leads to increased BCR surface expression, suggesting that CD79b may control BCR internalization. Adaptor protein 2 (AP2) is the major mediator of receptor endocytosis via clathrin-coated pits. The BCR contains five putative AP2-binding YxxØ motifs, including four that are present within two immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs). Using a combination of in vitro and in situ approaches, we establish that the sole mediator of AP2-dependent BCR internalization is the membrane proximal ITAM YxxØ motif in CD79b, which is a major target of mutation in ABC DLBCL. In addition, we establish that BCR internalization can be regulated at a minimum of two different levels: regulation of YxxØ AP2 binding in cis by downstream ITAM-embedded DCSM and QTAT regulatory elements and regulation in trans by the partner cytoplasmic domain of the CD79 heterodimer. Beyond establishing the basic rules governing BCR internalization, these results illustrate an underappreciated role for ITAM residues in controlling clathrin-dependent endocytosis and highlight the complex mechanisms that control the activity of AP2 binding motifs in this receptor system.
Oculocutaneous albinism type 2 is caused by defects in the gene OCA2, encoding a pigment cell-specific, 12-transmembrane domain protein with homology to ion permeases. The function of the OCA2 protein remains unknown, and its subcellular localization is under debate. Here, we show that endogenous OCA2 in melanocytic cells rapidly exits the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and thus does not behave as a resident ER protein. Consistently, exogenously expressed OCA2 localizes within melanocytes to melanosomes, and, like other melanosomal proteins, localizes to lysosomes when expressed in nonpigment cells. Mutagenized OCA2 transgenes stimulate melanin synthesis in OCA2-deficient cells when localized to melanosomes but not when specifically retained in the ER, contradicting a proposed primary function for OCA2 in the ER. Steady-state melanosomal localization requires a conserved consensus acidic dileucine-based sorting motif within the cytoplasmic N-terminal region of OCA2. A second dileucine signal within this region confers steady-state lysosomal localization in melanocytes, suggesting that OCA2 might traverse multiple sequential or parallel trafficking routes. The two dileucine signals physically interact in a differential manner with cytoplasmic adaptors known to function in trafficking other proteins to melanosomes. We conclude that OCA2 is targeted to and functions within melanosomes but that residence within melanosomes may be regulated by secondary or alternative targeting to lysosomes.
Cell types that generate unique lysosome-related organelles (LROs), such as melanosomes in melanocytes, populate nascent LROs with cargoes that are diverted from endosomes. Cargo sorting toward melanosomes correlates with binding via cytoplasmically exposed sorting signals to either heterotetrameric adaptor AP-1 or AP-3. Some cargoes bind both adaptors, but the relative contribution of each adaptor to cargo recognition and their functional interactions with other effectors during transport to melanosomes are not clear. Here we exploit targeted mutagenesis of the acidic dileucine-based sorting signal in the pigment cell-specific protein OCA2 to dissect the relative roles of AP-1 and AP-3 in transport to melanosomes. We show that binding to AP-1 or AP-3 depends on the primary sequence of the signal and not its position within the cytoplasmic domain. Mutants that preferentially bound either AP-1 or AP-3 each trafficked toward melanosomes and functionally complemented OCA2 deficiency, but AP-3 binding was necessary for steady-state melanosome localization. Unlike tyrosinase, which also engages AP-3 for optimal melanosomal delivery, both AP-1- and AP-3-favoring OCA2 variants required BLOC-1 for melanosomal transport. These data provide evidence for distinct roles of AP-1 and AP-3 in OCA2 transport to melanosomes and indicate that BLOC-1 can cooperate with either adaptor during cargo sorting to LROs.
Platelet dense granules are members of a family of tissue-specific, lysosome-related organelles that also includes melanosomes in melanocytes. Contents released from dense granules after platelet activation promote coagulation and hemostasis, and dense granule defects such as those seen in Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) cause excessive bleeding, but little is known about how dense granules form in megakaryocytes (MKs). In the present study, we used SLC35D3, mutation of which causes a dense granule defect in mice, to show that early endosomes play a direct role in dense granule biogenesis. We show that SLC35D3 expression is up-regulated during mouse MK differentiation and is enriched in platelets. Using immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy and subcellular fractionation in megakaryocytoid cells, we show that epitope-tagged and endogenous SLC35D3 localize predominantly to early endosomes but not to dense granule precursors. Nevertheless, SLC35D3 is depleted in mouse platelets from 2 of 3 HPS models and, when expressed ectopically in melanocytes, SLC35D3 localizes to melanosomes in a manner requiring a HPS-associated protein complex that functions from early endosomal transport intermediates. We conclude that SLC35D3 is either delivered to nascent dense granules from contiguous early endosomes as MKs mature or functions in dense granule biogenesis directly from early endosomes, suggesting that dense granules originate from early endosomes in MKs.
Vertebrate pigment cells in the eye and skin are useful models for cell types that use specialized endosomal trafficking pathways to partition cargo proteins to unique lysosome-related organelles such as melanosomes. This review describes current models of protein trafficking required for melanosome biogenesis in mammalian melanocytes.
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