BLOC-3 mutated in Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome is a Rab32/38 guanine nucleotide exchange factor
Gerondopoulos A., Langemeyer L., Liang JR., Linford A., Barr FA.
Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is a human disease characterized by partial loss of pigmentation and impaired blood clotting [1-3]. These symptoms are caused by defects in the biogenesis of melanosomes and platelet dense granules, often referred to as lysosome-related organelles  . Genes mutated in HPS encode subunits of the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complexes (BLOCs). BLOC-1 and BLOC-2, together with the AP-3 clathrin adaptor complex, act at early endosomes to sort components required for melanin formation and melanosome biogenesis away from the degradative lysosomal pathway toward early stage melanosomes [4-6]. However the molecular functions of the Hps1-Hps4 complex BLOC-3 remain mysterious [7-9] . Like other trafficking pathways, melanosome biogenesis and transport of enzymes involved in pigmentation involves specific Rab GTPases, in this instance Rab32 and Rab38 [10-12]. We now demonstrate that BLOC-3 is a Rab32 and Rab38 guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF). Silencing of the BLOC-3 subunits Hps1 and Hps4 results in the mislocalization of Rab32 and Rab38 and reduction in pigmentation. In addition, we show that BLOC-3 can promote specific membrane recruitment of Rab32/38. BLOC-3 therefore defines a novel Rab GEF family with a specific function in the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.