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Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2011 Nov;107(2):219-23. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2011.06.016. Epub 2011 Jul 7.

Rab27a in pancreatic beta-cells, a busy protein in membrane trafficking.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Oita University Faculty of Medicine, 1-1 Idaigaoka, Hasama, Yufu, Oita 8795593, Japan.


The small GTPases have the 'active' GTP-bound and 'inactive' GDP-bound states, and thereby act as a molecular switch in cells. Rab27a is a member of this family and exists in T-lymphocytes, melanocytes and pancreatic beta-cells. Rab27a regulates secretion of cytolytic granules from cytotoxic T-lymphocytes and intracellular transport of melanosomes in melanocytes. In pancreatic beta-cells, Rab27a controls pre-exocytotic stages of insulin secretion. A few GTP-dependent Rab27a effectors are known to mediate these cellular functions. We recently found that Rab27a also possesses the GDP-dependent effector coronin 3. Coronin 3 regulates endocytosis in pancreatic beta-cells through its interaction with GDP-Rab27a. These results imply that GTP- and GDP-Rab27a actively regulate distinct stages in the insulin secretory pathway. In this review, we provide an overview of the roles of both GTP- and GDP-Rab27a in pancreatic beta-cells.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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