Cell Structure and Function
Online ISSN : 1347-3700
Print ISSN : 0386-7196
ISSN-L : 0386-7196
In vivo Roles of Rab27 and Its Effectors in Exocytosis
Tetsuro Izumi
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2021 Volume 46 Issue 2 Pages 79-94


The monomeric GTPase Rab27 regulates exocytosis of a broad range of vesicles in multicellular organisms. Several effectors bind GTP-bound Rab27a and/or Rab27b on secretory vesicles to execute a series of exocytic steps, such as vesicle maturation, movement along microtubules, anchoring within the peripheral F-actin network, and tethering to the plasma membrane, via interactions with specific proteins and membrane lipids in a local milieu. Although Rab27 effectors generally promote exocytosis, they can also temporarily restrict it when they are involved in the rate-limiting step. Genetic alterations in Rab27-related molecules cause discrete diseases manifesting pigment dilution and immunodeficiency, and can also affect common diseases such as diabetes and cancer in complex ways. Although the function and mechanism of action of these effectors have been explored, it is unclear how multiple effectors act in coordination within a cell to regulate the secretory process as a whole. It seems that Rab27 and various effectors constitutively reside on individual vesicles to perform consecutive exocytic steps. The present review describes the unique properties and in vivo roles of the Rab27 system, and the functional relationship among different effectors coexpressed in single cells, with pancreatic beta cells used as an example.

Key words: membrane trafficking, regulated exocytosis, insulin granules, pancreatic beta cells

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