PAT1, a microtubule-interacting protein, recognizes the basolateral sorting signal of amyloid precursor protein.
In epithelial cells, sorting of membrane proteins to the basolateral surface depends on the presence of a basolateral sorting signal (BaSS) in their cytoplasmic domain. Amyloid precursor protein (APP), a basolateral protein implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, contains a tyrosine-based BaSS, and mutation of the tyrosine residue results in nonpolarized transport of APP. Here we report identification of a protein, termed PAT1 (protein interacting with APP tail 1), that interacts with the APP-BaSS but binds poorly when the critical tyrosine is mutated and does not bind the tyrosine-based endocytic signal of APP. PAT1 shows homology to kinesin light chain, which is a component of the plus-end directed microtubule-based motor involved in transporting membrane proteins to the basolateral surface. PAT1, a cytoplasmic protein, associates with membranes, cofractionates with APP-containing vesicles, and binds microtubules in a nucleotide-sensitive manner. Cotransfection of PAT1 with a reporter protein shows that PAT1 is functionally linked with intracellular transport of APP. We propose that PAT1 is involved in the translocation of APP along microtubules toward the cell surface.