Rab GTPases control membrane identity, fusion and transport by interaction with effector proteins. Effectors that influence the activation-inactivation cycle of their own or other Rab proteins contribute to the timely conversion of Rab membrane identities. Rab5 and its effector rabaptin5 (Rbpt5, also known as RABEP1) are generally considered the prime example for a positive-feedback loop in which Rab5-GTP recruits Rbpt5 in complex with Rabex5 (also known as RABGEF1), the GDP/GTP exchange factor of Rab5, to early endosomes, thus maintaining the Rab5 membrane identity. By deletion analysis, we found that the membrane recruitment of Rabaptin5 required binding to Rab4 and Rabex5, but not Rab5. Deletion of either one of the two Rab5-binding domains or silencing of Rab5 expression did not affect Rabaptin5 recruitment, but produced giant endosomes with early and late endosomal characteristics. The results contradict the model of feedback activation of Rab5 and instead indicate that Rbpt5 is recruited by both Rabex5 recognizing ubiquitylated cargo and by Rab4 to activate Rab5 in a feed-forward manner.
Keywords: Rab GTPase; Rabaptin5; Rabex5.
© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.