Dominant or recessive mutations in the progressive ankylosis gene ANKH have been linked to familial chondrocalcinosis (CCAL2), craniometaphyseal dysplasia (CMD), mental retardation, deafness and ankylosis syndrome (MRDA). The function of the encoded membrane protein ANK in cellular compartments other than the plasma membrane is unknown. Here, we show that ANK localizes to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), clathrin-coated vesicles and the plasma membrane. ANK functionally interacts with clathrin and clathrin associated adaptor protein (AP) complexes as loss of either protein causes ANK dispersion from the TGN to cytoplasmic endosome-like puncta. Consistent with its subcellular localization, loss of ANK results in reduced formation of tubular membrane carriers from the TGN, perinuclear accumulation of early endosomes and impaired transferrin endocytosis. Our data indicate that clathrin/AP-mediated cycling of ANK between the TGN, endosomes, and the cell surface regulates membrane traffic at the TGN/endosomal interface. These findings suggest that dysfunction of Golgi-endosomal membrane traffic may contribute to ANKH-associated pathologies.

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