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Rab27a co-ordinates actin-dependent transport by controlling organelle-associated motors and track assembly proteins.

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Alzahofi, Noura 
Welz, Tobias 
Robinson, Christopher L 
Page, Emma L 
Briggs, Deborah A 


Cell biologists generally consider that microtubules and actin play complementary roles in long- and short-distance transport in animal cells. On the contrary, using melanosomes of melanocytes as a model, we recently discovered that the motor protein myosin-Va works with dynamic actin tracks to drive long-range organelle dispersion in opposition to microtubules. This suggests that in animals, as in yeast and plants, myosin/actin can drive long-range transport. Here, we show that the SPIRE-type actin nucleators (predominantly SPIRE1) are Rab27a effectors that co-operate with formin-1 to generate actin tracks required for myosin-Va-dependent transport in melanocytes. Thus, in addition to melanophilin/myosin-Va, Rab27a can recruit SPIREs to melanosomes, thereby integrating motor and track assembly activity at the organelle membrane. Based on this, we suggest a model in which organelles and force generators (motors and track assemblers) are linked, forming an organelle-based, cell-wide network that allows their collective activity to rapidly disperse the population of organelles long-distance throughout the cytoplasm.



Actins, Cell Biology, Cytoskeleton, HEK293 Cells, Humans, Microtubules, Organelles, Phylogeny, rab27 GTP-Binding Proteins

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Nat Commun

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC