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Exp Cell Res. 2014 Oct 15;328(1):1-19. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2014.07.027. Epub 2014 Aug 1.

Rab proteins: the key regulators of intracellular vesicle transport.

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Cell and Developmental Biology Unit, Department of Zoology, The University of Burdwan, Golapbag 713104, India.
Cytogenetics Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, India. Electronic address:


Vesicular/membrane trafficking essentially regulates the compartmentalization and abundance of proteins within the cells and contributes in many signalling pathways. This membrane transport in eukaryotic cells is a complex process regulated by a large and diverse array of proteins. A large group of monomeric small GTPases; the Rabs are essential components of this membrane trafficking route. Most of the Rabs are ubiquitously expressed proteins and have been implicated in vesicle formation, vesicle motility/delivery along cytoskeleton elements and docking/fusion at target membranes through the recruitment of effectors. Functional impairments of Rabs affecting transport pathways manifest different diseases. Rab functions are accompanied by cyclical activation and inactivation of GTP-bound and GDP-bound forms between the cytosol and membranes which is regulated by upstream regulators. Rab proteins are characterized by their distinct sub-cellular localization and regulate a wide variety of endocytic, transcytic and exocytic transport pathways. Mutations of Rabs affect cell growth, motility and other biological processes.


Cell growth; Cyclical activation; Eukaryotic cells; Membrane trafficking; Transport pathways

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