Send to

Choose Destination
Small GTPases. 2018 Mar 4;9(1-2):182-191. doi: 10.1080/21541248.2017.1336192. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Taking control: Hijacking of Rab GTPases by intracellular bacterial pathogens.

Author information

a Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen , Foresterhill , Aberdeen , UK.
b Department of Microbial Pathogenesis , Yale University School of Medicine , New Haven , CT , USA.


Intracellular bacterial pathogens survive and replicate within specialized eukaryotic cell organelles. To establish their intracellular niches these pathogens have adopted sophisticated strategies to control intracellular membrane trafficking. Since Rab-family GTPases are critical regulators of endocytic and secretory membrane trafficking events, many intracellular pathogens have evolved specific mechanisms to modulate or hijack Rab GTPases dynamics and trafficking functions. One such strategy is the delivery of bacterial effectors through specialized machines to specifically target Rab GTPases. Some of these effectors functionally mimic host proteins that regulate the Rab GTP cycle, while others regulate Rabs proteins through their post-translation modifications or proteolysis. In this review, we examine how the localization and function of Rab-family GTPases are altered during infection with 3 well-studied intracellular bacterial pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella enterica and Legionella pneumophila. We also discuss recent findings about specific mechanisms by which these intracellular pathogens target this protein family.


Legionella pneumophila; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Rab GTPases; Salmonella enterica; intracellular membrane trafficking; intracellular pathogens

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center