Journal of Biological Chemistry
Internally tagged Vps10p-domain receptors reveal uptake of the neurotrophin BDNF
Marcel Klein, Antonio Virgilio Failla, Guido Hermey
sortilin, SORLA, SorCS, neurotrophin, BDNF, protein sorting, receptor internalization, live-cell imaging
The Vps10p-domain (Vps10p-D) receptor family consists of Sortilin, SorLA, SorCS1, SorCS2, and SorCS3. They mediate internalization and intracellular sorting of specific cargo in various cell types, but underlying molecular determinants are incompletely understood. Deciphering the dynamic intracellular itineraries of Vps10p-D receptors is crucial for understanding their role in physiological and cytopathological processes. However, studying their spatial and temporal dynamics by live imaging has been challenging so far, as terminal tagging with fluorophores presumably impedes several of their protein interactions and thus functions. Here, we addressed the lack of appropriate tools and developed functional versions of all family members internally tagged in their ectodomains. We predict folding of the newly designed receptors by bioinformatics and show their exit from the endoplasmic reticulum. We examined their subcellular localization in immortalized cells and primary cultured neurons by immunocytochemistry and live imaging. This was, as far as known, identical to that of wt counterparts. We observed homodimerization of fluorophore-tagged SorCS2 by coimmunoprecipitation and fluorescence lifetime imaging, suggesting functional leucine-rich domains. Through ligand uptake experiments, live imaging and fluorescence lifetime imaging, we show for the first time that all Vps10p-D receptors interact with the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor and mediate its uptake, indicating functionality of the Vps10p-Ds. In summary, we developed versions of all Vps10p-D receptors, with internal fluorophore tags that preserve several functions of the cytoplasmic and extracellular domains. These newly developed fluorophore-tagged receptors are likely to serve as powerful functional tools for accurate live studies of the individual cellular functions of Vps10p-D receptors.