Recombinant Antibodies to the Small GTPase Rab6 as Conformation Sensors

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Science  09 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5621, pp. 984-987
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083911

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Here we report an approach, based on antibody phage display, to generate molecular conformation sensors. Recombinant antibodies specific to the guanosine triphosphate (GTP)–bound conformation of the small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) Rab6, a regulator of membrane traffic, were generated and used to locate Rab6·GTP in fixed cells, and, after green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagging and intracellular expression, to follow Rab6·GTP in vivo. Rab6 was in its GTP-bound conformation on the Golgi apparatus and transport intermediates, and the geometry of transport intermediates was modulated by Rab6 activity. More generally, the same approach could be applied to other molecules that can be locked in a particular conformation in vitro.

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