TGN38/41, an integral membrane protein predominantly localized to the trans-Golgi network, has been shown to cycle to the plasma membrane and return to the TGN within 30 min. (Ladinsky, M. S., and K. E. Howell. 1992. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 59:92-105). In characterizing the proteins which associate with TGN38/41, a peripheral 62-kD protein, two forms of rab6 and two other small GTP-binding proteins were identified by coimmunoprecipitation. However, approximately 90% of the 62-kD protein is cytosolic and is associated with the same subset of small GTP-binding proteins. Both the membrane and cytoplasmic complexes were characterized by sizing column fractionation and velocity sedimentation. The membrane complex was approximately 250 kD (11.6 S) consisting of the cytosolic complex and a heterodimer of TGN38/41 (160 kD). The cytosolic complex was approximately 86 kD (6.1 S) consisting of p62 and one small GTP-binding protein. Preliminary evidence indicates that phosphorylation of the p62 molecule regulates the dissociation of the cytosolic complex from TGN38/41. Functionally the cytosolic p62 complex must bind to TGN38/41 for the budding of exocytic transport vesicles from the TGN as assayed in a cell-free system (Salamero, J., E. S. Sztul, and K. E. Howell. 1990. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 87:7717-7721). Interference with p62, rab6 or TGN38, and TGN41 cytoplasmic domains by immunodepletion or competing peptides completely inhibited the budding of exocytic transport vesicles. These results support an essential role for interaction of the cytosolic p62/rab6 complex with TGN38/41 in budding of exocytic vesicles from the TGN.

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