Evidence for a symmetrical requirement for Rab5-GTP in in vitro endosome-endosome fusion Article

Alejandro Barbieri, M, Hoffenberg, S, Roberts, R et al. (1998). Evidence for a symmetrical requirement for Rab5-GTP in in vitro endosome-endosome fusion . JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, 273(40), 25850-25855. 10.1074/jbc.273.40.25850

cited authors

  • Alejandro Barbieri, M; Hoffenberg, S; Roberts, R; Mukhopadhyay, A; Pomrehn, A; Dickey, BF; Stahl, PD


  • Early endosome fusion, which has been extensively characterized using an in vitro reconstitution assay, is Rab5-dependent. To examine the requirement for Rab5 on both fusion partners, we prepared cytosol and endosomes depleted of Rab5. Unlike control cytosol, Rab5-depleted cytosol was only marginally active in the in vitro endosome fusion. However, fusion could be restored by the addition of wild-type Rab5 or Rab5 D136N, a mutant whose nucleotide specificity favors xanthine over guanine. The addition of Rab5 D136N restored fusion only in the presence of XTP. In the absence of XTP or in the presence of XDP, Rab5 D136N failed to restore fusion. When fusion was carried out with endosomal vesicles depleted of Rah GTPases (by preincubation of vesicles with GDP dissociation inhibitor), together with cytosol immunodepleted of Rab5, fusion was virtually absent. We then used immunodepleted cytosol and GDP dissociation inhibitor-treated vesicles to determine whether Rab5 is required by both fusion partners. Using separate sets of endosomal vesicles, we found that priming both sets of Rab5-depleted vesicles with Rab5 Q79L, a GTPase- defective mutant, substantially stimulated endosome fusion. Priming one set of vesicles with Rab5 Q79L and a second set of vesicles with Rab5 S34N failed to activate fusion. When both sets of Rab5-depleted vesicles were primed with Rab5 D136N supplemented with XTP, endosome fusion was stimulated, similar to that observed with Rab5 Q79L. However, when one set of vesicles was preincubated with Rab5 D136N plus XTP and the second set with Rab5 D136N and XDP, no stimulation of fusion was observed. We conclude that Rab5-GTP is required on both fusion partners for docking and fusion of early endosomes. To confirm the fusion of Rab5-GTP-positive vesicles in vivo, we expressed GFP-Rab5 Q79L in fibroblasts and observed fusion of Rab5-positive vesicles. We failed to record fusion of Rab5-positive vesicles with Rab5-negative vesicles. We conclude that Rab5-GTP is required on both sets of endosomes for fusion in vitro and in living cells.

publication date

  • October 2, 1998

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 25850

end page

  • 25855


  • 273


  • 40