Rab proteins, connecting transport and vesicle fusion.
Small GTPases of the Rab family control timing of vesicle fusion. Fusion of two vesicles can only occur when they have been brought into close contact. Transport by microtubule- or actin-based motor proteins will facilitate this process in vivo. Ideally, transport and vesicle fusion are linked activities. Active, GTP-bound Rab proteins dock on specific compartments and are therefore perfect candidates to control transport of the different compartments. Recently, a number of Rab proteins were identified that control motor protein recruitment to their specific target membranes. By cycling through inactive and active states, Rab proteins are able to control motor protein-mediated transport and subsequent fusion of intracellular structures in both spatial and timed manners.
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