Inositol pyrophosphates, such as diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate (IP7), are conserved eukaryotic signaling molecules that possess pyrophosphate and monophosphate moieties. Generated predominantly by inositol hexakisphosphate kinases (IP6Ks), inositol pyrophosphates can modulate protein function by posttranslational serine pyrophosphorylation. Here, we report inositol pyrophosphates as novel regulators of cytoplasmic dynein-driven vesicle transport. Mammalian cells lacking IP6K1 display defects in dynein-dependent trafficking pathways, including endosomal sorting, vesicle movement, and Golgi maintenance. Expression of catalytically active but not inactive IP6K1 reverses these defects, suggesting a role for inositol pyrophosphates in these processes. Endosomes derived from slime mold lacking inositol pyrophosphates also display reduced dynein-directed microtubule transport. We demonstrate that Ser51 in the dynein intermediate chain (IC) is a target for pyrophosphorylation by IP7, and this modification promotes the interaction of the IC N-Terminus with the p150Glued subunit of dynactin. IC-p150Glued interaction is decreased, and IC recruitment to membranes is reduced in cells lacking IP6K1. Our study provides the first evidence for the involvement of IP6Ks in dynein function and proposes that inositol pyrophosphate-mediated pyrophosphorylation may act as a regulatory signal to enhance dynein-driven transport.
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© 2016 The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).