Emerging roles for Rab family GTPases in human cancer

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Apr;1795(2):110-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2008.10.001.


Member of the Ras-associated binding (Rab) family of small GTPases function as molecular switches regulating vesicular transport in eukaryotes cells. Their pathophysiological roles in human malignancies are less well-known compared to members of Ras and Rho families. Several members of the Rab family have, however, been shown to be aberrantly expressed in various cancer tissues. Recent findings have also revealed , in particular, Rab25 as a determinant of tumor progression and aggressiveness of epithelial cancers. Rab25 associates with alpha5beta1 integrin, and enhances tumor cell invasion by directing the localization of integrin-containing vesicles to the leading edge of matrix invading pseudopodia. We summarized here recent integrin on Rab25 and other Rabs implicated to be involved in a variety of human cancers, and discussed plausible mechanisms of how dysregulation of Rab expression could be tumorigenic or tumor suppressive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocytosis
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / etiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology*


  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins