Gerhardt B, Kordas TJ, Thompson CM, Patel P, and Vida TV. 1998. The vesicle transport protein, Vps33p, is an ATP binding protein that localizes to the cytosol in an energy dependent manner. J Biol Chem 273(25):15818–15829.
Molecular mechanisms of vesicle transport between the prevacuolar compartment and the vacuole in yeast or the lysosome in mammalian cells are poorly understood. To learn more about the specificity of this intercompartmental step, we have examined the subcellular localization of a SEC1 homologue, Vps33p, a protein implicated to function in transport between the prevacuolar compartment and the vacuole. Following short pulses, 80–90% of newly synthesized Vps33p cofractionated with a cytosolic enzyme marker after making permeabilized yeast cells. However, during a chase, 20–40% of Vps33p fractionated with permeabilized cell membranes in a time-dependent fashion with a half-time of ∼40 min. Depletion of cellular ATP increased the association rate to a half-time of ∼4 min and caused 80–90% of newly synthesized Vps33p to be associated with permeabilized cell membranes. The association of Vps33p with permeabilized cell membranes was reversible after restoring cells with glucose before permeabilization. TheN-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein homologue, Sec18p, a protein with known ATP binding and hydrolysis activity, displayed the same reversible energy-dependent sedimentation characteristics as Vps33p. We determined that the photosensitive analog, 8-azido-[α-32P]ATP, could bind directly to Vps33p with low affinity. Interestingly, excess unlabeled ATP could enhance photoaffinity labeling of 8-azido-[α-32P]ATP to Vps33p, suggesting cooperative binding, which was not observed with excess GTP. Importantly, we did not detect significant photolabeling after deleting amino acid regions in Vps33p that show similarity to ATP interaction motifs. We visualized these events in living yeast cells after fusing the jellyfish green fluorescent protein (GFP) to the C terminus of full-length Vps33p. In metabolically active cells, the fully functional Vps33p-GFP fusion protein appeared to stain throughout the cytoplasm with one or two very bright fluorescent spots near the vacuole. After depleting cellular ATP, Vps33p-GFP appeared to localize with a punctate morphology, which was also reversible upon restoring cells with glucose. Overall, these data support a model where Vps33p cycles between soluble and particulate forms in an ATP-dependent manner, which may facilitate the specificity of transport vesicle docking or targeting to the yeast lysosome/vacuole.