J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (8): 1129-1141.DOI: 10.1111/j.1672-9072.2007.00520.x

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Diversification of the RAB Guanosine Triphosphatase Family in Dicots and Monocots

Jiaming Zhang, Daniel R. Hill and Anne W. Sylvester   

  • Published:2007-08-04

Abstract: RAB guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) are key regulators of vesicle trafficking and are essential to the growth and development of all eukaryotic cells. During evolution, the RAB family has expanded in different patterns to facilitate distinct cellular, developmental and physiological adaptations. Yeast has only 11 family members, whereas mammalian RABs have expanded to 18 RAB subfamilies. Plant RABs have diversified primarily by duplicating members within a single subfamily. Plant RABs are divided into eight subfamilies, corresponding to mammalian RAB1, RAB2, RAB5, RAB6, RAB7, RAB8, RAB11 and RAB18. Functional diversification of these is exemplified by the RAB11s, orthologs of which are partitioned into unique cell compartments in plants where they function to transport vesicles during localized tip growth. Similarly, the RAB2 family in grasses is likely involved in vesicle secretion associated with wall expansion, as determined by analysis of over-expression mutants. We propose that dicots and monocots have also diverged in their RAB profiles to accommodate unique cellular functions between the two groups. Here we present a bioinformatics analysis comparing the RAB sub-families of rice, maize and Arabidopsis. These results will guide future functional studies to test for the role of diversification of subfamilies unique to monocots compared to dicots.

Key words: dicot, GTP binding protein, monocot, phylogenetic analysis, RAB guanosine triphosphatase.

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