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Eukaryotic cells are distinguished by their compartmentalization into membrane-enclosed organelles that exchange membranes and content in a highly ordered manner. Central in defining membrane identity are the Rabs, a large family of small GTPases that localize to distinct membranes and recruit specific regulators of membrane traffic. Two recent papers, including one by Klöpper et al. in BMC Biology, present phylogenomic evidence that the Rab repertoire was established very early in eukaryotic evolution, and correlates with interspecies variations in organelles.See research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/10/71. © 2012 Stenmark; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Stenmark, H. (2012, August 8). The Rabs: A family at the root of metazoan evolution. BMC Biology. https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7007-10-68