Hrs- and CD63-Dependent Competing Mechanisms Make Different Sized Endosomal Intraluminal Vesicles



Multivesicular endosomes/bodies (MVBs) contain intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) that bud away from the cytoplasm. Multiple mechanisms of ILV formation have been identified, but the relationship between different populations of ILVs and MVBs remains unclear. Here, we show in HeLa cells that different ILV subpopulations can be distinguished by size. EGF stimulation promotes the formation of large ESCRT-dependent ILVs, whereas depletion of the ESCRT-0 component, Hrs, promotes the formation of a uniformly sized population of small ILVs, the formation of which requires CD63. CD63 has previously been implicated in ESCRT-independent sorting of PMEL in MVBs and transfected PMEL is present on the small ILVs that form on Hrs depletion. Upregulation of CD63-dependent ILV formation by Hrs depletion indicates that Hrs and CD63 regulate competing machineries required for the generation of distinct ILV subpopulations. Taken together our results indicate that ILV size is influenced by their cargo and mechanism of formation and suggest a competitive relationship between ESCRT-dependent and -independent mechanisms of ILV formation within single MVBs.