Regulation and Coordination of Intracellular Trafficking: An Overview

  • Julie Donaldson
  • Nava Segev
Part of the Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit book series (MBIU)


During the last two decades, efforts in the protein trafficking field have focused primarily on the identification of the machinery components of vesicular transport and mechanisms that underlie it. In addition, research has started to reveal how intracellular trafficking is regulated. Here, we summarize the current state of our knowledge about the regulation of vesicular transport and its coordination with other cellular processes. At the most basic level, individual transport steps are regulated spatially and temporally in two different ways. First, molecular switches of the Arf, Rab and Rho GTPase families regulate the assembly of components of the vesicular transport machinery on membranes, mediating the formation, targeting and fusion of vesicles that shutde cargo between intracellular compartments. Second, reversible posttranslational modifications, like phosphorylation and ubiquitination, allow efficient cargo sorting and machinery component recycling. At a higher level, individual transport steps are integrated into whole pathways, with GTPases as a mechanism for this integration. Finally, intracellular trafficking pathways are coordinated with other cellular processes. Here too, GTPases appear to play a role by orchestrating coordination.


Intracellular Trafficking Vesicular Transport Endocytic Pathway Donor Compartment Transport Step 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Segev N, ed. Trafficking Inside Cells: Pathways, Mechanisms and Regulation. Austin/New York: Landes Biosciences/Springer Science+Business Media, 2009:1–102, this volume.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Franco M, Chavrier P, Niedergang F. Regulation of protein trafficking by GTP-binding proteins. Segev N, ed. Trafficking Inside Cells: Pathways, Mechanisms and Regulation. Austin/New York: Landes Biosciences/Springer Science+Business Media, 2009:342–62, this volume.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Piper R, Bryant N. Posttranslational control of protein trafficking in the post-Golgi secretory and endocytic pathway. In: Segev N, ed. Trafficking Inside Cells: Pathways, Mechanisms and Regulation. Austin/New York: Landes Biosciences/Springer Science+Business Media, 2009:363–87, this volume.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chant J, Stowers L. GTPase cascades choreographing cellular behavior: movement, morphogenesis, and more. Cell 1995; 81(1):1–4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Markgraf DF, Peplowska K, Ungermann C. Rab cascades and tethering factors in the endomembrane system. FEBS Lett 2007; 581(11):2125–30.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Segev N. Ypt/rab gtpases: regulators of protein trafficking. Sci STKE 2001; 2001(100): RE11.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Osman M, Cerione R. Actin doesn’t do the locomotion: Secretion drives cell polarization. In: Segev N, ed. Trafficking Inside Cells: Pathways, Mechanisms and Regulation. Austin/New York: Landes Biosciences/Springer Science+Business Media, 2009:388–404, this volume.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Barbieri M, Wainszelbaum M, Stahl P. Intracellular trafficking and signaling: The role of endocytic Rab GTPases. In: Segev N, ed. Trafficking Inside Cells: Pathways, Mechanisms and Regulation. Austin/New York: Landes Biosciences/Springer Science+Business Media, 2009:405–18, this volume.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Schotman H, Rabouille C. The exocytic pathway and development. In: Segev N, ed. Trafficking Inside Cells: Pathways, Mechanisms and Regulation. Austin/New York: Landes Biosciences/Springer Science+Business Media, 2009:419–38, this volume.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dudu V, Pantazis P, Gonzalez-Gaitan M. Membrane traffic during embryonic development: epithelial formation, cell fate decisions and differentiation. Curr Opin Cell Biol 2004; 16(4):407–14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Weber T, Zemelman BV, McNew JA et al. SNAREpins: minimal machinery for membrane fusion. Cell 1998; 92(6):759–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Carroll KS, Hanna J, Simon I et al. Role of Rab9 GTPase in facilitating receptor recruitment by TIP47. Science 2001; 292(5520): 1373–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jedd G, Mulholland J, Segev N. Two new Ypt GTPases are required for exit from the yeast trans-Golgi compartment. J Cell Biol 1997; 137(3):563–80.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    McLauchlan H, Newell J, Morrice N et al. A novel role for Rab5-GDI in ligand sequestration into clathrin-coated pits. r Biol 1998; 8(l):34–45.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Antonny B. Membrane deformation by protein coats. Curr Opin Cell Biol 2006; 18(4):386–394.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Song BD, Schmid SL. A molecular motor or a regulator? Dynamin’s in a class of its own. Bio-chemistry 2003 42(6):1369–76.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kruchten AE, McNiven MA. Dynamin as a mover and pincher during cell migration and invasion. J Cell Sci 2006; 119(Pt 9):1683–90.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Semerdjieva S, Shortt B, Maxwell E et al. Coordinated regulation of AP2 uncoating from clathrin-coated vesicles by rab5 and hRME-6. J Cell Biol 2008; 183(3):499–511.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tanigawa G, Orci L, Amherdt M et al. Hydrolysis of bound GTP by ARF protein triggers uncoating of Golgi-derived COP-coated vesicles. J Cell Biol 1993; 123(6 Pt 1):1365–71.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Segev N. Ypt and Rab GTPases: insight into functions through novel interactions. Curr Opin Cell Biol 2001; 13(4):500–11.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Barbero P, Bittova L, Pfeffer SR. Visualization of Rab9-mediated vesicle transport from endosomes to the trans-Golgi in living cells. J Cell Biol 2002; 156(3):511–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rink J, Ghigo E, Kalaidzidis Y, Zerial M. Rab conversion as a mechanism of progression from early to late endosomes. Cell 2005; 122(5):735–49.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Gurkan C, Lapp H, Alory C et al. Large-scale profding of Rab GTPase trafficking networks: the membrome. Mol Biol Cell 2005; 16(8):3847–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Prossnitz ER. Novel roles for arrestins in the post-endocytic trafficking of G protein-coupled receptors. Life Sci 2004; 75(8):893–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lin CH, Macgurn JA, Chu T et al. Arrestin-related ubiquitin-ligase adaptors regulate endocytosis and protein turnover at the cell surface. Cell 2008; 135(4):7l4–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Chen SH, Chen S, Tokarev AA et al. Ypt31/32 GTPases and their novel F-box effector protein Rcyl regulate protein recycling. Mol Biol Cell 2005; 16(l):178–92.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Jones S, Jedd G, Kahn RA et al. Genetic interactions in yeast between Ypt GTPases and Arf guanine nucleotide exchangers. Genetics 1999; 152(4):1543–56.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Garcia-Mata R, Sztul E. The membrane-tethering protein pi 15 interacts with GBF1, an ARF guanine-nucleotide-exchange factor. EMBO Rep 2003; 4(3):320–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lipatova Z, Tokarev AA, Jin Y et al. Direct interaction between a myosin V motor and the Rab GTPases Ypt31/32 is required for polarized secretion. Mol Biol Cell 2008; 19(10):4l77–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ortiz D, Medkova M, Walch-Solimena C, Novick P. Ypt32 recruits the Sec4p guanine nucleotide exchange factor, Sec2p, to secretory vesicles; evidence for a Rab cascade in yeast. J Cell Biol 2002; 157(6):1005–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rojas R, van Vlijmen T, Mardones GA et al. Regulation of retromer recruitment to endosomes by sequential action of Rab5 and Rab7. J Cell Biol 2008; 183(3):513–26.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hayes GL, Brown FC, Haas AK et al. Multiple Rab GTPase Binding Sites in GCC185 Suggest a Model for Vesicle Tethering at the Trans Golgi. Mol Biol Cell 2009; 20(1):209–17.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Sacher M, Kim YG, Lavie A et al. The TRAPP Complex: insights into its architecture and function. Traffic 2008; 9(12):2032–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Morozova N, Liang Y, Tokarev AA et al. TRAPPII subunits are required for the specificity switch of a Ypt-Rab GEF. Nat Cell Biol 2006; 8(11):1263–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Park HO, Bi E. Central roles of small GTPases in the development of cell polarity in yeast and beyond. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 2007; 71(l):48–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Bryant DM, Mostov KE. From cells to organs: building polarized tissue. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2008; 9(11):887–901.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Barnes AP, Solecki D, Polleux F. New insights into the molecular mechanisms specifying neuronal polarity in vivo. Curr Opin Neurobiol 2008; 18(1):44–52.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Coumailleau F, Gonzalez-Gaitan M. From endocytosis to tumors through asymmetric cell division of stem cells. Curr Opin Cell Biol 2008; 20(4):462–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Li R, Gundersen GG. Beyond polymer polarity: how the cytoskeleton builds a polarized cell. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2008; 9(11):860–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Mellman I, Nelson WJ. Coordinated protein sorting, targeting and distribution in polarized cells. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2008; 9(11):833–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wu H, Rossi G, Brennwald P. The ghost in the machine: small GTPases as spatial regulators of exocytosis. Trends Cell Biol 2008; 18(9):397–404.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Sadowski L, Pilecka I, Miaczynska M. Signaling from endosomes: Location makes a difference. Exp Cell Res 2009; 315(9):l601–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Palamidessi A, Frittoli E, Garre M et al. Endocytic trafficking of Rac is required for the spatial restriction of signaling in cell migration. Cell 2008; 134(1):135–47.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Entchev EV, Gonzalez-Gaitan MA. Morphogen gradient formation and vesicular trafficking. Traffic 2002; 3(2):98–109.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Slagsvold T, Pattni K, Malerod L, Stenmark H. Endosomal and non-endosomal functions of ESCRT proteins. Trends Cell Biol 2006; 16(6):317–26.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Dugani CB, Klip A. Glucose transporter 4: cycling, compartments and controversies. EMBO Rep 2005; 6(12):1137–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Janka GE. Familial and acquired hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Eur J Pediatr 2007; 166(2):95–109.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Tang Y, Olufemi L, Wang MT, Nie D. Role of Rho GTPases in breast cancer. Front Biosci 2008; 13:759–76.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Wu G, Yussman MG, Barrett TJ et al. Increased myocardial Rab GTPase expression: a conse-quence and cause of cardiomyopathy. Circ Res 2001; 89(12):1130–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Chua CE, Tang BL. alpha-synuclein and Parkinson’s disease: the first roadblock. J Cell Mol Med 2006; 10(4):837–46.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Otomo A, Hadano S, Okada T et al. ALS2, a novel guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the small GTPase Rab5, is implicated in endosomal dynamics. Hum Mol Genet 2003; 12(14):1671–87.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Barral DC, Ramalho JS, Anders R et al. Functional redundancy of Rab27 proteins and the patho-genesis of Griscelli syndrome. J Clin Invest 2002; 110(2):247–57.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Hattula K, Peranen J. FIP-2, a coiled-coil protein, links Huntingtin to Rab8 and modulates cellu-lar morphogenesis. Curr Biol 2000; 10(24):1603–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Cheng KW, Lahad JP, Kuo WL et al. The RAB25 small GTPase determines aggressiveness of ovarian and breast cancers. Nat Med 2004; 10(11):1251–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Martin-Serrano J. The role of ubiquitin in retroviral egress. Traffic 2007; 8(10): 1297–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Nagai H, Kagan JC, Zhu X et al. A bacterial guanine nucleotide exchange factor activates ARF on Legionella phagosomes. Science 2002; 295(5555):679–82.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Ingmundson A, Delprato A, Lambright DG, Roy CR. Legionella pneumophila proteins that regulate Rabl membrane cycling. Nature 2007; 450(7l68):365–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Machner MP, Isberg RR. A Afunctional bacterial protein links GDI displacement to Rabl activation. Science 2007; 318(5852):974–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Sklan EH, Serrano RL, Einav S et al. TBC1D20 is a Rabl GTPase-activating protein that mediates hepatitis C virus replication. J Biol Chem 2007; 282(50):36354–61.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Rzomp KA, Scholtes LD, Briggs BJ et al. Rab GTPases are recruited to chlamydial inclusions in both a species-dependent and species-independent manner. Infect Immun 2003; 71(10):5855–70.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Madan R, Krishnamurthy G, Mukhopadhyay A. SopE-mediated recruitment of host Rab5 on phagosomes inhibits Salmonella transport to lysosomes. Methods Mol Biol 2008; 445:417–37.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Panaro MA, Mitolo V, Cianciulli A et al. The HIV-1 Rev binding family of proteins: the dog proteins as a study model. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets 2008; 8(l):30–46.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Blagoveshchenskaya AD, Thomas L, Feliciangeli SF et al. HIV-1 Nef downregulates MHC-1 by a PACS-1-and P13K-regulated ARF6 endocytic pathway. Cell 2002; 111(6):853–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Cell Biology NHLBINational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

Personalised recommendations