A comprehensive analysis of Rab GTPases reveals a role for Rab34 in serum starvation-induced primary ciliogenesis

Mai E. Oguchi, Koki Okuyama, Yuta Homma, Mitsunori Fukuda

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Primary cilia are sensors of chemical and mechanical signals in the extracellular environment. The formation of primary cilia (i.e. ciliogenesis) requires dynamic membrane trafficking events, and several Rab small GTPases, key regulators of membrane trafficking, have recently been reported to participate in ciliogenesis. However, the precise mechanisms of Rabmediated membrane trafficking during ciliogenesis remain largely unknown. In the present study, we used a collection of siRNAs against 62 human Rabs to perform a comprehensive knockdown screening for Rabs that regulate serum starvation-induced ciliogenesis in human telomerase reverse transcriptase retinal pigment epithelium 1 (hTERT-RPE1) cells and succeeded in identifying Rab34 as an essential Rab. Knockout (KO) of Rab34, but not of Rabs previously reported to regulate ciliogenesis (e.g. Rab8 and Rab10) in hTERT-RPE1 cells, drastically impaired serum starvation-induced ciliogenesis. Rab34 was also required for serum starvation-induced ciliogenesis in NIH/3T3 cells and MCF10A cells but not for ciliogenesis in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK)-II cysts. We then attempted to identify a specific region(s) of Rab34 that is essential for ciliogenesis by performing deletion and mutation analyses of Rab34. Unexpectedly, instead of a specific sequence in the switch II region, which is generally important for recognizing effector proteins (e.g. Rab interacting lysosomal protein [RILP]), a unique long N-terminal region of Rab34 before the conserved GTPase domain was found to be essential. These findings suggest that Rab34 is an atypical Rab that regulates serum starvation-induced ciliogenesis through its unique N-terminal region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12674-12685
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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