Rab family small GTPases play essential roles in various cellular events via the regulation of intracellular logistics comprising a large number of membrane traffic pathways. Emerging evidence reveals the physiological roles of Rab proteins in several tissues, including developing brains. Many Rab proteins, such as Rab5, Rab6, Rab7, Rab8, Rab10, Rab11, Rab17 and Rab18, are shown to regulate neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells and/or axon and dendrite formation in primary cultured neurons. Recent studies have also revealed in vivo roles of several Rab family small GTPases in brain development and its related neurological disorders. In this review, we introduce the physiological function of Rab family proteins in neural development with particular focus on neurite outgrowth and neuronal migration.
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