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Trends Cell Biol. 2011 Jul;21(7):383-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2011.03.006. Epub 2011 May 6.

Rabs and the exocyst in ciliogenesis, tubulogenesis and beyond.

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Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The exocyst, an octameric protein complex mediating vesicle tethering at the plasma membrane for exocytosis, is a downstream effector of the Rab proteins Rab8 and Rab11, which are key regulators of membrane trafficking from the trans-Golgi network and recycling endosome to the plasma membrane. Rab11 and Rab8 coordinate their actions via Rabin8, the guanine nucleotide exchange factor of Rab8. A cascade of protein-protein interactions involving the Rabs and the exocyst complex couples the generation of secretory vesicles at donor compartments to their docking and fusion at the plasma membrane. Here, we discuss recent work implicating Rab proteins and the exocyst in primary ciliogenesis and epithelial lumenogenesis. In addition, we discuss early work in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which provided the initial insight into the molecular mechanisms of polarized exocytosis.

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