Sphingolipids play critical roles in many physiologically important events in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In this study, we found that csg2Δ mutant cells defective in the synthesis of mannosylinositol phosphorylceramide exhibited abnormal intracellular accumulation of an exocytic v-SNARE, Snc1, under phosphatidylserine synthase gene (PSS1)-repressive conditions, although in wild-type cells, Snc1 was known to cycle between plasma membranes and the late Golgi via post-Golgi endosomes. The mislocalized Snc1 was co-localized with an endocytic marker dye, FM4-64, upon labelling for a short time. The abnormal distribution of Snc1 was suppressed by deletion of GYP2 encoding a GTPase-activating protein that negatively regulates endosomal vesicular trafficking, or expression of GTP-restricted form of Ypt32 GTPase. Furthermore, an endocytosis-deficient mutant of Snc1 was localized to plasma membranes in PSS1-repressed csg2Δ mutant cells as well as wild-type cells. Thus, the PSS1-repressed csg2Δ mutant cells were indicated to be defective in the trafficking of Snc1 from post-Golgi endosomes to the late Golgi. In contrast, the vesicular trafficking pathways via pre-vacuolar endosomes in the PSS1-repressed csg2Δ mutant cells seemed to be normal. These results suggested that specific complex sphingolipids and phosphatidylserine are co-ordinately involved in specific vesicular trafficking pathway.
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