Structural basis for Retriever-SNX17 assembly and endosomal sorting

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During endosomal recycling, Sorting Nexin 17 (SNX17) facilitates the transport of numerous membrane cargo proteins by tethering them to the Retriever complex. Despite its importance, the mechanisms underlying this interaction have remained elusive. Here, we report the structure of the Retriever-SNX17 complex determined using cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM). Our structure reveals that the C-terminal tail of SNX17 engages with a highly conserved interface between the VPS35L and VPS26C subunits of Retriever. Through comprehensive biochemical, cellular, and proteomic analyses, we demonstrate that disrupting this interface impairs the Retriever-SNX17 interaction, subsequently affecting the recycling of SNX17-dependent cargos and altering the composition of the plasma membrane proteome. Intriguingly, we find that the SNX17-binding pocket on Retriever can be utilized by other ligands that share a consensus acidic C-terminal tail motif. By showing how SNX17 is linked to Retriever, our findings uncover a fundamental mechanism underlying endosomal trafficking of critical cargo proteins and reveal a mechanism by which Retriever can engage with other regulatory factors.

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