Résumé : The limiting membrane of lysosomes in animal cells and that of the vacuole in yeast include a wide variety of transporters, but little is known about how these proteins reach their destination membrane. The mammalian PQLC2 protein catalyzes efflux of basic amino acids from the lysosome, and the similar Ypq1, 2, and 3 proteins of yeast perform an equivalent function at the vacuole. We here show that the Ypq proteins are delivered to the vacuolar membrane via the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) trafficking pathway, which requires the AP-3 adaptor complex. When traffic via this pathway is deficient, the Ypq proteins pass through endosomes from where Ypq1 and Ypq2 properly reach the vacuolar membrane whereas Ypq3 is missorted to the vacuolar lumen via the multivesicular body pathway. When produced in yeast, PQLC2 also reaches the vacuolar membrane via the ALP pathway, but tends to sort to the vacuolar lumen if AP-3 is defective. Finally, in HeLa cells, inhibiting the synthesis of an AP-3 subunit also impairs sorting of PQLC2 to lysosomes. Our results suggest the existence of a conserved AP-3-dependent trafficking pathway for proper delivery of basic amino acid exporters to the yeast vacuole and to lysosomes of human cells.