Orchestration of cell surface proteins by Rab11

Trends Cell Biol. 2014 Jul;24(7):407-15. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2014.02.004. Epub 2014 Mar 24.


The organization of cells into interconnected structures such as animal tissues requires a sophisticated system directing receptors and adhesion proteins to the cell surface. The Rab11 small G proteins (Rab11a, b, and Rab25) of the Ras superfamily are master regulators of the surface expression of receptors and adhesion proteins. Acting as a molecular switch, Rab11 builds distinct molecular machinery such as motor protein complexes and the exocyst to transport proteins to the cell surface. Recent evidence reveals Rab11 localization at the trans-Golgi network (TGN), post-Golgi vesicles, and the recycling endosome, placing it at the intersection between the endocytic and exocytic trafficking pathways. We review Rab11 in various cellular contexts, and discuss its regulation and mechanisms by which Rab11 couples with effector proteins.

Keywords: Crag-DENN; Evi5-TBC; Rab11; Rab11-FIP; motor proteins; protruding.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Endosomes / physiology
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • trans-Golgi Network / metabolism
  • trans-Golgi Network / physiology


  • Membrane Proteins
  • rab11 protein
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins