In polarized MDCK cells basolateral vesicles arise from clathrin-gamma-adaptin-coated domains on endosomal tubules. Academic Article uri icon


  • Human transferrin receptors (TR) and receptors for polymeric immunoglobulins (pIgR) expressed in polarized MDCK cells maintain steady-state, asymmetric distributions on the separate basolateral and apical surfaces even though they are trafficking continuously into and across these cells. The intracellular mechanisms required to maintain these asymmetric distributions have not been located. Here we show that TR and pIgR internalize from both surfaces to a common interconnected endosome compartment that includes tubules with buds coated with clathrin lattices. These buds generate vesicles that carry TR to the basolateral border. The lattices contain gamma-adaptin and are dispersed by treatment with brefeldin A (BFA). Since BFA treatment abrogates the vectorial trafficking of TR in polarized MDCK cells, we propose that the clathrin-coated domains of the endosome tubules contain the polarized sorting mechanism responsible for their preferential basolateral distribution.

published proceedings

  • J Cell Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Futter, C. E., Gibson, A., Allchin, E. H., Maxwell, S., Ruddock, L. J., Odorizzi, G., ... Hopkins, C. R.

citation count

  • 198

complete list of authors

  • Futter, CE||Gibson, A||Allchin, EH||Maxwell, S||Ruddock, LJ||Odorizzi, G||Domingo, D||Trowbridge, IS||Hopkins, CR

publication date

  • May 1998