EEA1, a tethering protein of the early sorting endosome, shows a polarized distribution in hippocampal neurons, epithelial cells, and fibroblasts
Wilson, JM de Hoop, M Zorzi, N Toh, BH Dotti, Carlos Parton, RG #
Molecular Biology of the Cell vol:11 issue:8 pages:2657-2671
EEA1 is an early endosomal Rab5 effector protein that has been implicated in the docking of incoming endocytic vesicles before fusion with early endosomes. Because of the presence of complex endosomal pathways in polarized and nonpolarized cells, we have examined the distribution of EEA1 in diverse cell types. Ultrastructural analysis demonstrates that EEA1 is present on a subdomain of the early sorting endosome but not on clathrin-coated vesicles, consistent with a role in providing directionality to early endosomal fusion. Furthermore, EEA1 is associated with filamentous material that extends from the cytoplasmic surface of the endosomal domain, which is also consistent with a tethering/docking role for EEA1. In polarized cells (Madin-Darby canine kidney cells and hippocampal neurons), EEA1 is present on a subset of "basolateral-type" endosomal compartments, suggesting that EEA1 regulates specific endocytic pathways. In both epithelial cells and fibroblastic cells, EEA1 and a transfected apical endosomal marker, endotubin, label distinct endosomal populations. Hence, there are at least two distinct sets of early endosomes in polarized and nonpolarized mammalian cells. EEA1 could provide specificity and directionality to fusion events occurring in a subset of these endosomes in polarized and nonpolarized cells.