Small GTPase Rab2B and Its Specific Binding Protein Golgi-associated Rab2B Interactor-like 4 (GARI-L4) Regulate Golgi Morphology [Membrane Biology]

July 24th, 2015 by Aizawa, M., Fukuda, M.

Rab small GTPases are crucial regulators of the membrane traffic that maintains organelle identity and morphology. Several Rab isoforms are present in the Golgi, and it has been suggested that they regulate the compacted morphology of the Golgi in mammalian cells. However, the functional relationships between the Golgi-resident Rabs, e.g., whether they are functionally redundant or different, are poorly understood. In this study, we used specific siRNAs to perform genome-wide screening for human Rabs that are involved in Golgi morphology in HeLa-S3 cells. The results showed that knockdown of any one of the six Rab isoforms (Rab1A/1B/2A/2B/6B/8A) induced fragmentation of the Golgi in HeLa-S3 cells and that its phenotype was rescued by re-expression of their respective siRNA-resistant construct. We then performed systematic knockdown-rescue experiments in relation to each of the six Rabs. Interestingly, with the exception of the Rab8A knockdown, the Golgi fragmentation phenotype induced by knockdown of a single Rab isoform, e.g., Rab2B, was efficiently rescued by re-expression of its siRNA-resistant Rab alone, not by any of the other five Rabs, e.g., Rab2A, which is highly homologous to Rab2B, indicating that these Rab isoforms non-redundantly regulate Golgi morphology possibly through interaction with isoform-specific effector molecules. In addition, we identified Golgi-associated Rab2B interactor-like 4 (GARI-L4) as a novel Golgi-resident Rab2B-specific binding protein, whose knockdown also induced fragmentation of the Golgi. Our findings suggest that the compacted Golgi morphology of mammalian cells is finely tuned by multiple sets of Rab (or Rab-effector complexes) that for the most part function independently.
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