BACKGROUND: Eps15 is an endocytic adaptor protein that stimulates clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Among other interactions, Eps15 binds ubiquitin via UIM domains, recruiting ubiquitinated cargo into clathrin-coated vesicles. In EGF-treated cells, Eps15 also localizes to endosomes. The basis of this localization is not known.<br /><br />RESULTS: We show that accumulation of ubiquitinated cargo can recruit Eps15 to endosomes via UIM domain interactions. First, treatment of SK-Br-3 breast cancer cells, which overexpress the EGFR family member ErbB2, with geldanamycin to promote receptor ubiquitination and endosomal transport, recruited FLAG-Eps15 to endosomes. Two in-frame ubiquitin constructs, PM-GFP-Ub (retained in endosomes after endocytosis), and GFP-FYVE-UbΔGG (targeted directly to endosomes) also recruited Eps15 to endosomes, as did slowing endosome maturation with constitutively-active Rab5-Q79L. Endosomal recruitment required the UIM domains, but not the N-terminal EH domains or central coiled-coil domains, of Eps15. Silencing of the endosomal Eps15 binding partner Hrs did not affect recruitment of Eps15 to ubiquitin-enriched endosomes. In fact, Hrs silencing itself modestly recruited Eps15 to endosomes, probably by accumulating endogenous ubiquitinated cargo. Eps15 silencing did not affect lysosomal degradation of ubiquitinated ErbB2; however, GFP-FYVE-UbΔGG overexpression inhibited internalization of EGFR and transferrin receptor.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: We show for the first time that ubiquitin is sufficient for Eps15 recruitment to endosomes. We speculate that Eps15 recruitment to ubiquitin-rich endosomes may reduce the level of Eps15 at the plasma membrane, slowing endocytosis to allow time for processing of ubiquitinated cargo in endosomes.
Gucwa, A. L., & Brown, D. A. (2015). UIM domain-dependent recruitment of the endocytic adaptor protein Eps15 to ubiquitin-enriched endosomes. BMC Cell Biology, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2121-15-34