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Cells 2018, 7(11), 215;

Revisiting Rab7 Functions in Mammalian Autophagy: Rab7 Knockout Studies

Laboratory of Membrane Trafficking Mechanisms, Department of Integrative Life Sciences, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Aobayama, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8578, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Rab7 (or Ypt7 in yeast) is one of the well-characterized members of the Rab family small GTPases, which serve as master regulators of membrane trafficking in eukaryotes. It localizes to late endosomes and lysosomes and has multiple functions in the autophagic pathway as well as in the endocytic pathway. Because Rab7/Ypt7 has previously been shown to regulate the autophagosome-lysosome fusion step in yeast and fruit flies (i.e., autophagosome accumulation has been observed in both Ypt7-knockout [KO] yeast and Rab7-knockdown fruit flies), it is widely assumed that Rab7 regulates the autophagosome-lysosome fusion step in mammals. A recent analysis of Rab7-KO mammalian cultured cells, however, has revealed that Rab7 is essential for autolysosome maturation (i.e., autolysosome accumulation has been observed in Rab7-KO cells), but not for autophagosome-lysosome fusion, under nutrient-rich conditions. Thus, although Rab7/Ypt7 itself is essential for the proper progression of autophagy in eukaryotes, the function of Rab7/Ypt7 in autophagy in yeast/fruit flies and mammals must be different. In this review article, we describe novel roles of Rab7 in mammalian autophagy and discuss its functional diversification during evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: autophagy; autolysosome maturation; glutamine starvation; lysosome; Rab7/Ypt7 autophagy; autolysosome maturation; glutamine starvation; lysosome; Rab7/Ypt7

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kuchitsu, Y.; Fukuda, M. Revisiting Rab7 Functions in Mammalian Autophagy: Rab7 Knockout Studies. Cells 2018, 7, 215.

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