Rab GTPases as coordinators of vesicle traffic

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Aug;10(8):513-25. doi: 10.1038/nrm2728. Epub 2009 Jul 15.


Membrane trafficking between organelles by vesiculotubular carriers is fundamental to the existence of eukaryotic cells. Central in ensuring that cargoes are delivered to their correct destinations are the Rab GTPases, a large family of small GTPases that control membrane identity and vesicle budding, uncoating, motility and fusion through the recruitment of effector proteins, such as sorting adaptors, tethering factors, kinases, phosphatases and motors. Crosstalk between multiple Rab GTPases through shared effectors, or through effectors that recruit selective Rab activators, ensures the spatiotemporal regulation of vesicle traffic. Functional impairments of Rab pathways are associated with diseases, such as immunodeficiencies, cancer and neurological disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Disease
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transport Vesicles / enzymology*
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins