Melanosomes are lysosome-related organelles in melanocytes that are transported from the perinucleus to the cell periphery by coordination between bidirectional (anterograde and retrograde) microtubule-dependent transport and unidirectional actin-dependent transport. Although the molecular machineries that mediate retrograde transport and actin-dependent transport have already been identified, little is known about the anterograde transport complex on microtubules in mammalian cells. Here we discovered that small GTPase Rab1A on melanosomes recruits SKIP/PLEKHM2 as a Rab1A-specific effector and that Rab1A, SKIP, and a kinesin-1/(Kif5b+KLC2) motor form a transport complex that mediates anterograde melanosome transport in melanocytes. Interestingly, Arl8, Arf-like small GTPase that also interacts with SKIP, is specifically localized at lysosomes and regulates their anterograde transport in melanocytes. Our findings suggest that the anterograde microtubule-dependent transport of melanosomes and lysosomes are differently regulated by independent cargo receptors, i.e., Rab1A and Arl8, respectively, but that a SKIP-kinesin-1 mechanism is responsible for the transport of both.
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