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J Cell Biol. 2007 Jul 2;178(1):43-56. Epub 2007 Jun 25.

A role for Rab5 in structuring the endoplasmic reticulum.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

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  • J Cell Biol. 2007 Sep 24;178(7):1309.


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a contiguous network of interconnected membrane sheets and tubules. The ER is differentiated into distinct domains, including the peripheral ER and nuclear envelope. Inhibition of two ER proteins, Rtn4a and DP1/NogoA, was previously shown to inhibit the formation of ER tubules in vitro. We show that the formation of ER tubules in vitro also requires a Rab family GTPase. Characterization of the 29 Caenorhabditis elegans Rab GTPases reveals that depletion of RAB-5 phenocopies the defects in peripheral ER structure that result from depletion of RET-1 and YOP-1, the C. elegans homologues of Rtn4a and DP1/NogoA. Perturbation of endocytosis by other means did not affect ER structure; the role of RAB-5 in ER morphology is thus independent of its well-studied requirement for endocytosis. RAB-5 and YOP-1/RET-1 also control the kinetics of nuclear envelope disassembly, which suggests an important role for the morphology of the peripheral ER in this process.

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