Roles for the Drs2p–Cdc50p Complex in Protein Transport and Phosphatidylserine Asymmetry of the Yeast Plasma Membrane


Todd R. Graham,


Drs2p, a P-type adenosine triphosphatase required for a phosphatidylserine (PS) flippase activity in the yeast trans Golgi network (TGN), was first implicated in protein trafficking by a screen for mutations synthetically lethal with arf1 (swa). Here, we show that SWA4 is allelic to CDC50, encoding a membrane protein previously shown to chaperone Drs2p from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi complex. We find that cdc50Δ exhibits the same clathrin-deficient phenotypes as drs2Δ, including delayed transport of carboxypeptidase Y to the vacuole, mislocalization of resident TGN enzymes and the accumulation of aberrant membrane structures. These trafficking defects precede appearance of cell polarity defects in cdc50Δ, suggesting that the latter are a secondary consequence of disrupting Golgi function. Involvement of Drs2p–Cdc50p in PS translocation suggests a role in restricting PS to the cytosolic leaflet of the Golgi and plasma membrane. Annexin V binding and papuamide B hypersensitivity indicate that drs2Δ or cdc50Δ causes a loss of plasma membrane PS asymmetry. However, clathrin and other endocytosis null mutants also exhibit a comparable loss of PS asymmetry, and studies with drs2-ts and clathrin (chc1-ts) conditional mutants suggest that loss of plasma membrane asymmetry is a secondary consequence of disrupting protein trafficking.