Sorting of plasma membrane proteins into exocytic vesicles at the yeast trans-Golgi network (TGN) is believed to be mediated by their coalescence with specific lipids, but how these membrane-remodeling events are regulated is poorly understood. Here we show that the ATP-dependent phospholipid flippase Drs2 is required for efficient segregation of cargo into exocytic vesicles. The plasma membrane proteins Pma1 and Can1 are missorted from the TGN to the vacuole in drs2∆ cells. We also used a combination of flippase mutants that either gain or lose the ability to flip phosphatidylserine (PS) to determine that PS flip by Drs2 is its critical function in this sorting event. The primary role of PS flip at the TGN appears to be to control the oxysterol-binding protein homologue Kes1/Osh4 and regulate ergosterol subcellular distribution. Deletion of KES1 suppresses plasma membrane-missorting defects and the accumulation of intracellular ergosterol in drs2 mutants. We propose that PS flip is part of a homeostatic mechanism that controls sterol loading and lateral segregation of protein and lipid domains at the TGN.
© 2015 Hankins et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).