- Endosomes undergo a maturation process highlighted by a reduction in lumenal pH, a conversion of surface markers that prime endosome-lysosome fusion and the sequestration of ubiquitylated transmembrane protein cargos within intralumenal vesicles (ILVs). We investigated ILV cargo sorting in mutant strains of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that are deficient for either the lysosomal/vacuolar signaling lipid PI(3,5)P2 or the Doa4 ubiquitin hydrolase that deubiquitylates ILV cargos. Disruption of PI(3,5)P2 synthesis or Doa4 function causes a defect in sorting of a subset of ILV cargos. We show that these cargo-sorting defects are suppressed by mutations that disrupt Vph1, a subunit of vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) complexes that acidify late endosomes and vacuoles. We further show that Vph1 dysfunction increases endosome abundance, and disrupts vacuolar localization of Ypt7 and Vps41, two crucial mediators of endosome-vacuole fusion. Because V-ATPase inhibition attenuates this fusion and rescues the ILV cargo-sorting defects in yeast that lack PI(3,5)P2 or Doa4 activity, our results suggest that the V-ATPase has a role in coordinating ILV cargo sorting with the membrane fusion machinery. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.