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Traffic. 2001 Aug;2(8):532-43.

Organization of the Rab-GDI/CHM superfamily: the functional basis for choroideremia disease.

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Departments of Cell and Molecular Biology and Institute for Childhood and Neglected Diseases, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Choroideremia is an X-chromosome-linked disease that leads to the degeneration of the choriocapillaris, the retinal pigment epithelium and the photoreceptor layer in the eye. The gene product defective in choroideremia, CHM, is identical to Rab escort protein 1 (REP1). CHM/REP1 is an essential component of the catalytic geranylgeranyltransferase II complex (GGTrII) that delivers newly synthesized small GTPases belonging to the RAB gene family to the catalytic complex for post-translational modification. CHM/REP family members are evolutionarily related to members of the guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor (GDI) family, proteins involved in the recycling of Rab proteins required for vesicular membrane trafficking through the exocytic and endocytic pathways, forming the GDI/CHM superfamily. Biochemical and structural analyses have now revealed a striking parallel in the organization and function of these two families allowing us to generate a general model for GDI/CHM superfamily function in health and disease.

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