PerspectiveMedicine

Membrane traffic en route to cancer

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Science  09 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6257, pp. 162-163
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad3575

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Summary

Binding of growth factors to cell surface receptors initiates complex intracellular signaling cascades that promote cell growth, survival, and proliferation (1). The membrane composition and spatial arrangement of intracellular organelles represents a critical network that influences the transduction of such signals. This close relationship blurs the boundaries of classifying proteins into simple categories such as signaling and membrane trafficking. The challenge of maintaining such strict distinctions is illustrated on page 211 of this issue by Wheeler et al. (2), who identify oncogenic functions for Rab35, a protein involved in regulating endosomal membrane traffic (3).