Editor: Guangpu Li

Rab GTPases and Membrane Trafficking

eBook: US $79 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $158
Printed Copy: US $119
Library License: US $316
ISBN: 978-1-60805-391-9 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-365-0 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2012
DOI: 10.2174/97816080536501120101


Ypt/Rab GTPases form the largest branch of the Ras-related small GTPase superfamily and regulate intracellular membrane trafficking in all eukaryotes. Since their discovery over two decades ago, a wealth of information has accumulated about the roles that Ypt/Rab proteins play in vesicular transport steps, including vesicle budding, movement, and fusion. In recent years, Ypt/Rab GTPases and membrane trafficking have been discovered to play an important role in other cellular processes, such as signal transduction, cell growth and differentiation. Additionally, Rab GTPases have been implicated in various human diseases, ranging from diabetes to cancer. This e-book provides a timely update on the rapidly developing field and discusses all functional aspects of Ypt/Rab GTPases. The 12 chapters cover well-characterized Ypts/Rabs involved in both exocytic and endocytic pathways as well as newly identified and uncharacterized Rab GTPases. A comprehensive picture about how each Ypt/Rab controls multiple vesicular trafficking steps via interactions with multiple effectors is conveyed to the reader’s mind.

This e-book is the first ever volume focused on the Ypt/Rab GTPases and should provide a useful resource for researchers, students and teachers interested in the field.

Indexed in: BIOSIS Previews, Chemical Abstracts, Scopus, EBSCO.


Since the 19th century, when Metchnikoff fed fragments of blue litmus paper to phagocytes and observed that they turned red, indicating the presence of an “acid compartment”, biologists and physicians have been intrigued with the mechanisms of membrane internalization and trafficking and their implications for understanding physiology. In the 20th century, when much was already known at the morphological level about cell secretion and endocytosis, a major advance, the discovery of the Ypt/Rab family of GTPases, heralded the entry of an era that has propelled research in membrane trafficking into the 21st century. The discovery of Ypt1 in yeast and the subsequent discovery of the Rab GTPases in mammalian cells has revealed a vast network of interacting transport/trafficking pathways in cells not unlike, metaphorically speaking, a national highway system for packaging and distributing cargo and products from one location to another.

The course of evolution has been characterized by several large expansions in the signaling repertoire of cells and tissues accompanied by the five-fold expansion in the Rab GTPase catalog from yeast to man. This expansion, along with the corresponding need for additional Rab-specific effectors, motors, exchange factors and GAPs, has broadened our understanding of the immense impact of the Ypt/Rab family on human physiology and health.

A new offering by Li and Segev entitled “Rab GTPases and Membrane Trafficking” brings us up to date on many of the recent developments in Ypt/Rab biology and physiology. Following an excellent introduction by the Li and Segev that touches on many of the recent advances in this rapidly developing field, a collection of a dozen chapters focus on selected Ypt/Rabs and the transport and signaling functions that they oversee. A superb collection of contributors brings both diversity and substance to the volume while highlighting the novelty of individual Ypt/Rab GTPases. The last selection on the evolution of the Ypt/Rab family provides an excellent finale. The eBook makes good use of cartoons, is amply referenced and should be of great value to graduate students and aficionados alike.

Philip D. Stahl
Washington University
St. Louis,MO