A FAM21-Containing WASH Complex Regulates Retromer-Dependent Sorting

Timothy S. Gomez, Daniel D. Billadeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

329 Scopus citations


The Arp2/3 complex regulates endocytosis, sorting, and trafficking, yet the Arp2/3-stimulating factors orchestrating these distinct events remain ill defined. WASH (Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein and SCAR Homolog) is an Arp2/3 activator with unknown function that was duplicated during primate evolution. We demonstrate that WASH associates with tubulin and localizes to early endosomal subdomains, which are enriched in Arp2/3, F-actin, and retromer components. Although WASH localized with activated receptors, it was not essential for endocytosis. However, WASH did regulate retromer-mediated retrograde CI-MPR trafficking, which required its association with endosomes, Arp2/3-directed F-actin regulation, and tubulin interaction. Moreover, WASH exists in a multiprotein complex containing FAM21, which links WASH to endosomes and is required for WASH-dependent retromer-mediated sorting. Significantly, without WASH, retromer tubulation was exaggerated, supporting a model wherein WASH links retromer-mediated cargo containing tubules to microtubules for Golgi-directed trafficking and generates F-actin-driven force for tubule scission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-711
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 17 2009



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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