Exosomes are secreted organelles that have the same topology as the cell and bud outward (outward is defined as away from the cytoplasm) from endosome membranes or endosome-like domains of plasma membrane. Here we describe an exosomal protein-sorting pathway in Jurkat T cells that selects cargo proteins on the basis of both higher-order oligomerization (the oligomerization of oligomers) and plasma membrane association, acts on proteins seemingly without regard to their function, sequence, topology, or mechanism of membrane association, and appears to operate independently of class E vacuolar protein-sorting (VPS) function. We also show that higher-order oligomerization is sufficient to target plasma membrane proteins to HIV virus-like particles, that diverse Gag proteins possess exosomal-sorting information, and that higher-order oligomerization is a primary determinant of HIV Gag budding/exosomal sorting. In addition, we provide evidence that both the HIV late domain and class E VPS function promote HIV budding by unexpectedly complex, seemingly indirect mechanisms. These results support the hypothesis that HIV and other retroviruses are generated by a normal, nonviral pathway of exosome biogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)