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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Feb;22(1):18-26. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2010.07.003. Epub 2010 Jul 17.

New links between vesicle coats and Rab-mediated vesicle targeting.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195-3750, USA.


Vesicle trafficking is a highly regulated process that transports proteins and other cargoes through eukaryotic cells while maintaining cellular organization and compartmental identity. In order for cargo to reach the correct destination, each step of trafficking must impart specificity. During vesicle formation, this is achieved by coat proteins, which selectively incorporate cargo into the nascent vesicle. Classically, vesicle coats are thought to dissociate shortly after budding. However, recent studies suggest that coat proteins can remain on the vesicle en route to their destination, imparting targeting specificity by physically and functionally interacting with Rab-regulated tethering systems. This review focuses on how interactions among Rab GTPases, tethering factors, SNARE proteins, and vesicle coats contribute to vesicle targeting, fusion, and coat dynamics.

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