Goodpasture-antigen binding protein (GPBP) is a nonconventional Ser/Thr kinase for basement membrane type IV collagen. Various studies have questioned these findings and proposed that GPBP serves as transporter of ceramide between the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus. Here we show that cells expressed at least two GPBP isoforms resulting from canonical (77-kDa) and noncanonical (91-kDa) mRNA translation initiation. The 77-kDa polypeptide interacted with type IV collagen and localized as a soluble form in the extracellular compartment. The 91-kDa polypeptide and its derived 120-kDa polypeptide associated with cellular membranes and regulated the extracellular levels of the 77-kDa polypeptide. A short motif containing two phenylalanines in an acidic tract and the 26-residue Ser-rich region were required for efficient 77-kDa polypeptide secretion. Removal of the 26-residue Ser-rich region by alternative exon splicing rendered the protein cytosolic and sensitive to the reduction of sphingomyelin cellular levels. These and previous data implicate GPBPs in a multicompartmental program for protein secretion (i.e. type IV collagen) that includes: 1) phosphorylation and regulation of protein molecular/supramolecular organization and 2) interorganelle ceramide trafficking and regulation of protein cargo transport to the plasma membrane.
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