The Saccharomyces cerevisiae casein kinase protein Yck3 is a central regulator at the vacuole that phosphorylates several proteins involved in membrane trafficking. Here, we set out to identify novel substrates of this protein. We found that endogenously tagged Yck3 localized not only at the vacuole, but also on endosomes. To disable Yck3 function, we generated a kinase-deficient mutant and thus identified the I-BAR-protein Ivy1 as a novel Yck3 substrate. Ivy1 localized to both endosomes and vacuoles, and Yck3 controlled this localization. A phosphomimetic Ivy1-SD mutant was found primarily on vacuoles, whereas its non-phosphorylatable SA variant strongly localized to endosomes, similar to what was observed upon deletion of Yck3. In vitro analysis revealed that Yck3-mediated phosphorylation strongly promoted Ivy1 recruitment to liposomes carrying the Rab7-like protein Ypt7. Modeling of Ivy1 with Ypt7 identified binding sites for Ypt7 and a positively charged patch, which were both required for Ivy1 localization. Strikingly, Ivy1 mutations in either site resulted in more cells with multilobed vacuoles, suggesting a partial defect in its membrane biogenesis. Our data thus indicate that Yck3-mediated phosphorylation controls both localization and function of Ivy1 in endolysosomal biogenesis.

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