Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24681536
Nat. Chem. Biol. 2014 May;10(5):350-7
Here we combined classical biochemistry with new biophysical approaches to study the organization of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins (GPI-APs) with high spatial and temporal resolution at the plasma membrane of polarized epithelial cells. We show that in polarized MDCK cells, after sorting in the Golgi, each GPI-AP reaches the apical surface in homoclusters. Golgi-derived homoclusters are required for their subsequent plasma membrane organization into cholesterol-dependent heteroclusters. By contrast, in nonpolarized MDCK cells, GPI-APs are delivered to the surface as monomers in an unpolarized manner and are not able to form heteroclusters. We further demonstrate that this GPI-AP organization is regulated by the content of cholesterol in the Golgi apparatus and is required to maintain the functional state of the protein at the apical membrane. Thus, in contrast to fibroblasts, in polarized epithelial cells, a selective cholesterol-dependent sorting mechanism in the Golgi regulates both the organization and function of GPI-APs at the apical surface.