MICAL-L1 is required for cargo protein delivery to the cell surface
Secreted proteins are transported along intracellular route from the endoplasmic reticulum through the Golgi before reaching the plasma membrane. Small GTPase Rab and their effectors play a key role in membrane trafficking. Using confocal microscopy, we showed that MICAL-L1 was associated with tubulo-vesicular structures and exhibited a significant colocalization with markers of the Golgi apparatus and recycling endosomes. Super resolution STORM microscopy suggested at the molecular level, a very close association of MICAL-L1 and microdomains in the Golgi cisternae. Using a synchronized secretion assay, we report that the shRNA-mediated depletion of MICAL-L1 impaired the delivery of a subset of cargo proteins to the cell surface. The process of membrane tubulation was monitored in vitro, and we observe that recombinant MICAL-L1-RBD domain may contribute to promote PACSINs-mediated membrane tubulation. Interestingly, two hydrophobic residues at the C-terminus of MICAL-L1 appeared to be important for phosphatidic acid binding, and for association with membrane tubules. Our results reveal a new role for MICAL-L1 in cargo delivery to the plasma membrane.