Membrane Trafficking Mechanisms
Cells, the building blocks of multi-cellular organisms like ourselves, contain various organelles that are wrapped in membranes. Although they have unique functions, organelles are far from existing independently and frequently exchange information via “membrane trafficking.” Since a loss of proper membrane trafficking often causes various human diseases, understanding the molecular mechanism of membrane trafficking is one of the most important research themes in biology and medicine. For membrane trafficking to occur smoothly, “traffic controllers” must be present within the cells. In our laboratory, we investigate the role of the small GTPase Rab protein, one of the important traffic controllers, in membrane trafficking. Shedding light on its role will lead to an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of membrane trafficking.