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Logo of bmcbiologyBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Biology
BMC Biol. 2012; 10: 68.
Published online 2012 August 8. doi:  10.1186/1741-7007-10-68
PMCID: PMC3414739

The Rabs: A family at the root of metazoan evolution


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.

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