Rab32 regulates melanosome transport in Xenopus melanophores by protein kinase a recruitment

Curr Biol. 2007 Dec 4;17(23):2030-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.10.051. Epub 2007 Nov 8.


Intracellular transport is essential for cytoplasm organization, but mechanisms regulating transport are mostly unknown. In Xenopus melanophores, melanosome transport is regulated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA). Melanosome aggregation is triggered by melatonin, whereas dispersion is induced by melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). The action of hormones is mediated by cAMP: High cAMP in MSH-treated cells stimulates PKA, whereas low cAMP in melatonin-treated cells inhibits it. PKA activity is typically restricted to specific cell compartments by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Recently, Rab32 has been implicated in protein trafficking to melanosomes and shown to function as an AKAP on mitochondria. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Rab32 is involved in regulation of melanosome transport by PKA. We demonstrated that Rab32 is localized to the surface of melanosomes in a GTP-dependent manner and binds to the regulatory subunit RIIalpha of PKA. Both RIIalpha and Cbeta subunits of PKA are required for transport regulation and are recruited to melanosomes by Rab32. Overexpression of wild-type Rab32, but not mutants unable to bind PKA or melanosomes, inhibits melanosome aggregation by melatonin. Therefore, in melanophores, Rab32 is a melanosome-specific AKAP that is essential for regulation of melanosome transport.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Melanophores / metabolism*
  • Melanosomes / metabolism*
  • Melanosomes / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Xenopus / genetics
  • Xenopus / metabolism*
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins