Rab regulation by GEFs and GAPs during membrane traffic

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2019 Aug;59:34-39. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2019.03.004. Epub 2019 Apr 10.


Rab GTPases and their regulatory proteins play a crucial role in vesicle-mediated membrane trafficking. During vesicle membrane tethering Rab GTPases are activated by GEFs (guanine nucleotide exchange factors) and then inactivated by GAPs (GTPase activating proteins). Recent evidence shows that in addition to activating and inactivating Rab GTPases, both Rab GEFs and GAPs directly contribute to membrane tethering events during vesicle traffic. Other studies have extended the range of processes, in which Rabs function, and revealed roles for Rabs and their GAPs in the regulation of autophagy. Here, we will discuss these advances and the emerging relationship between the domain architectures of Rab GEFs and vesicle coat protein complexes linked with GTPases of the Sar, ARF and Arl families in animal cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • GTPase-Activating Proteins / metabolism*
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Protein Transport / genetics*
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*


  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins