Functional involvement of Rab1A in microtubule-dependent anterograde melanosome transport in melanocytes

Morié Ishida, Norihiko Ohbayashi, Yuto Maruta, Yuka Ebata, Mitsunori Fukuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Melanosomes are transported to the cell periphery of melanocytes by coordination between bidirectional microtubule-dependent movements and unidirectional actin-dependent movement. Although both the mechanism of the actin-dependent melanosome transport and the mechanism of the microtubule-dependent retrograde melanosome transport in mammalian skin melanocytes have already been determined, almost nothing is known about the mechanism of the microtubule-dependent anterograde melanosome transport. Small GTPase Rab proteins are common regulators of membrane traffic in all eukaryotes, and in this study we performed genome-wide screening for Rab proteins that are involved in anterograde melanosome transport by expressing 60 different constitutive active (and negative) mutants, and succeeded in identifying Rab1A, originally described as a Golgi-resident Rab, as a prime candidate. Endogenous Rab1A protein was found to be localized to mature melanosomes in melanocytes, and its functional ablation either by siRNA-mediated knockdown or by overexpression of a cytosolic form of Rab1A-GTPase-activating protein/TBC1D20 induced perinuclear melanosome aggregation. The results of time-lapse imaging further revealed that long-range anterograde melanosome movements were specifically suppressed in Rab1A-deficient melanocytes, whereas retrograde melanosome transport occurred normally. Taken together, these findings indicate that Rab1A is the first crucial component of the anterograde melanosome transport machinery to be identified in mammalian skin melanocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5177-5187
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Microtubule-dependent anterograde transport
  • Rab1A
  • Skin melanocytes
  • Small GTPase
  • TBC1D20


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional involvement of Rab1A in microtubule-dependent anterograde melanosome transport in melanocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this