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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


Myosin VI (myo6) is the only actin-based molecular motor that translocates along actin filaments toward the minus end. Myo6 participates in two steps of endocytic trafficking; it is recruited to both clathrin-coated pits and to ensuing uncoated endocytic vesicles (UCV). Although there is evidence suggesting that the PDZ adaptor protein GIPC/synectin is involved in the association of myo6 with UCV, the recruitment mechanism is unknown. We show that GIPC/synectin is required for both internalization of cell surface receptors and for coupling of myo6 to UCV. This coupling occurs via a mechanism wherein engagement of the GIPC/synectin PDZ domain by C termini of internalized receptors facilitates in trans myo6 binding to the GIPC/synectin C terminus located outside of the PDZ domain. Analysis of megalin, a prototypical GIPC/synectin-binding receptor, revealed that deletion of its PDZ-binding motif drastically reduced GIPC/synectin and myo6 recruitment to UCV. Furthermore, interaction with GIPC/synectin was required for megalin’s function, as megalin was mistargeted in the renal proximal tubules of GIPC/synectin-null mice and these mice exhibited proteinuria, a condition consistent with defective megalin trafficking.