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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Capturing protein interactions in the secretory pathway of living cells.

The secretory pathway is composed of membrane compartments specialized in protein folding, modification, transport, and sorting. Numerous transient protein-protein interactions guide the transport-competent proteins through the secretory pathway. Here we have adapted the yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-based protein fragment complementation assay (PCA) to detect protein-protein interactions in the secretory pathway of living cells. Fragments of YFP were fused to the homooligomeric cargo-receptor lectin endoplasmic reticulum Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC)-53, to the ERGIC-53- interacting multi-coagulation factor deficiency protein MCFD2, and to ERGIC-53's cargo glycoprotein cathepsin Z. YFP PCA analysis revealed the oligomerization of ERGIC-53 and its interaction with MCFD2, as well as its lectin-mediated interaction with cathepsin Z. Mutation of the lectin domain of ERGIC-53 selectively decreased YFP complementation with cathepsin Z. Using YFP PCA, we discovered a carbohydrate-mediated interaction between ERGIC-53 and cathepsin C. We conclude that YFP PCA can detect weak and transient protein interactions in the secretory pathway and hence is a powerful approach to study luminal processes involved in protein secretion. The study extends the application of PCA to carbohydrate-mediated protein-protein interactions of low affinity.[1]


  1. Capturing protein interactions in the secretory pathway of living cells. Nyfeler, B., Michnick, S.W., Hauri, H.P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
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