Prevacuolar compartment morphology in vps mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Jamie M. Hedman, Matthew D. Eggleston, Amanda L. Attryde, Pamela Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Over 60 genes have been identified that affect protein sorting to the lysosome-like vacuole in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cells with mutations in these vacuolar protein sorting (vps) genes fall into seven general classes based upon their vacuolar morpholology. Class A mutants have a morphologically wild type vacuole, while Class B mutants have a fragmented vacuole. There is no discernable vacuolar structure in Class C mutants. Class D mutants have a slightly enlarged vacuole, but Class E mutants have a normal looking vacuole with an enlarged prevacuolar compartment (PVC), which is analogous to the mammalian late endosome. Class F mutants have a wild type appearing vacuole as well as fragmented vacuolar structures. vps mutants have also been found with a tubulo-vesicular vacuole structure. vps mutant morphology is pertinent, as mutants of the same class may work together and/or have a block in the same general step in the vacuolar protein sorting pathway. We probed PVC morphology and location microscopically in live cells of several null vps mutants using a GFP fusion protein of Nhx1p, an Na+/H+ exchanger normally localized to the PVC. We show that cell strains deleted for VPS proteins that have been previously shown to work together, regardless of VPS Class, have the same PVC morphology. Cell strains lacking VPS genes that have not been implicated in the same pathway show different PVC morphologies, even if the mutant strains are in the same VPS Class. These new studies indicate that PVC morphology is another tier of classification that may more accurately identify proteins that function together in vacuolar protein sorting than the original vps mutation classes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1237-1244
Number of pages8
JournalCell Biology International
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Late endosome
  • Morphology
  • Prevacuolar compartment
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Yeast
  • vps Mutants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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