Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Eukaryotic cells achieve complexity by compartmentalizing a subset of cellular functions into membrane-bound organelles. Maintaining this high level of cellular organization requires precise regulation of traffic between membranes. This task is accomplished, in part, by rab proteins. How these small GTPases regulate membrane traffic between cellular compartments is not clear. Here we report the characterization of a novel rab GTPase from the soil amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum. The predicted coding sequence of the new rab gene, Dictyostelium rab11b, encodes a protein of 25 kD containing all the structural hallmarks of a rab GTPase. Comparison of the sequence with the GenBank database and cladistic analysis demonstrated Dictyostelium rab11b to be a divergent member of the rab11 branch of rab proteins. Southern analysis revealed the presence of related genes in Dictyostelium. RNAse protection assays showed the Dictyostelium rab11b gene to be expressed at uniform levels throughout growth and development. Gene deletion experiments revealed that Dictyostelium rab11b was not essential for growth or development. Conceivably, the function of rab11b may be redundant with that of related genes in this organism. J. Cell. Biochem. 70:29-37, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, inc.
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