Peptidylarginine deiminase IV (PAD4) post-translationally converts arginine residues in proteins to citrullines and is implicated in playing a central role in the pathogenesis of several diseases. Although PAD4 was historically thought to be a nuclear enzyme, recent evidence has revealed a more complex localization of PAD4 with evidence of additional cytosolic and cell surface localization and activity. However, the mechanisms by which PAD4, which lacks conventional secretory signal sequences, traffics to extranuclear localizations are unknown. In this study, we show that PAD4 was enriched in the organelle fraction of monocytes with evidence of citrullination of organelle proteins. We also demonstrated that PAD4 can bind to several cytosolic, nuclear and organelle proteins that may serve as binding partners for PAD4 to traffic intracellularly. Additionally, cell surface expression of PAD4 increased with monocyte differentiation into monocyte-derived dendritic cells and co-localized with several endocytic/autophagic and conventional secretory pathway markers, implicating the use of these pathways by PAD4 to traffic within the cell. Our results suggest that PAD4 is expressed in multiple subcellular localizations and may play previously unappreciated roles in physiological and pathological conditions. This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue 'The virtues and vices of protein citrullination'.

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