The endocytosis of cell membrane proteins is initiated by the binding of activated Arf6, a member of Ras-related GTPases, to the PM. A GAP specific for Arf6 triggers the budding of endocytotic vesicles from the PM by inactivating GTP-bound Arf6. We recently identified the SMAP gene that encodes an ArfGAP and is involved in the endocytosis of TfnR and possibly E-cadherin. In this review, we summarize the process of intracellular membrane trafficking, highlighting the roles played by the SMAP gene. Progression of cancer to malignancy occurs in parallel with the disappearance of E-cadherin, a central component of the adherens junction in epithelial cells. Therefore, elucidation of the molecular mechanism of E-cadherin endocytosis should be one of the key elements in tumor cell biology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research