American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Journal of Biological Chemistry vol:287 issue:12 pages:9052-60
Proprotein convertase 7 (PC7) is a member of the subtilisin-like proprotein convertase family, which is involved in the endoproteolysis of a variety of precursor proteins. Under steady state conditions, PC7 is mainly localized in the trans-Golgi network, but a small fraction is found at the cell surface. So far, no sorting signals for membrane trafficking have been identified in PC7. In this study, we have examined the internalization of PC7 from the plasma membrane. Our results show that internalization of PC7 is mediated by clathrin-coated vesicles. After inhibition of clathrin-mediated endocytosis using hypertonic conditions or the small molecule inhibitor, Pitstop 2, PC7 accumulated at the plasma membrane. Furthermore, PC7 was present in isolated clathrin-coated vesicles. To determine the internalization motif, constructs were generated in which parts of the N and C terminus of the cytoplasmic tail of PC7 were deleted, and chimeric proteins were constructed consisting of the luminal and transmembrane domains of Tac (CD25) and parts of the cytoplasmic domain of PC7. Antibody uptake experiments as well as surface biotinylation experiments demonstrated that the region between Ala(713) and Cys(726) in the cytoplasmic domain of PC7 is essential and sufficient for the internalization of PC7 but not for trans-Golgi network localization. Individual amino acids in this region were substituted with alanine, which identified Pro, Leu, and Cys as the essential amino acids. In conclusion, internalization of PC7 depends on a short transferable sequence in the cytoplasmic tail, which contains the three crucial amino acids PLC.