Quantitative proteomics of MDCK cells identify unrecognized roles of clathrin adaptor AP-1 in polarized distribution of surface proteins Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Cell Polarity
  • Clathrin
  • Epithelial Cells


  • The current model of polarized plasma membrane protein sorting in epithelial cells has been largely generated on the basis of experiments characterizing the polarized distribution of a relatively small number of overexpressed model proteins under various experimental conditions. Thus, the possibility exists that alternative roles of various types of sorting machinery may have been underestimated or missed. Here, we utilize domain-selective surface biotinylation combined with stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) and mass spectrometry to quantitatively define large populations of apical and basolateral surface proteins in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. We identified 313 plasma membrane proteins, of which 38% were apical, 51% were basolateral, and 11% were nonpolar. Silencing of clathrin adaptor proteins (AP) AP-1A, AP-1B, or both caused redistribution of basolateral proteins as expected but also, of a large population of apical proteins. Consistent with their previously reported ability to compensate for one another, the strongest loss of polarity was observed when we silenced AP-1A and AP-1B simultaneously. We found stronger evidence of compensation in the apical pathway compared with the basolateral pathway. Surprisingly, we also found subgroups of proteins that were affected after silencing just one adaptor, indicating previously unrecognized independent roles for AP-1A and AP-1B. While AP-1B silencing mainly affected basolateral polarity, AP-1A silencing seemed to cause comparable loss of apical and basolateral polarity. Our results uncover previously overlooked roles of AP-1 in polarized distribution of apical and basolateral proteins and introduce surface proteomics as a method to examine mechanisms of polarization with a depth not possible until now.

publication date

  • June 11, 2019



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC6575629

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1821076116

PubMed ID

  • 31142645

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 11796

end page

  • 11805


  • 116


  • 24