RABIF/MSS4 is a Rab-stabilizing holdase chaperone required for GLUT4 exocytosis.
Gulbranson DR, Davis EM, Demmitt BA, Ouyang Y, Ye Y, Yu H, Shen J
Rab GTPases are switched from their GDP-bound inactive conformation to a GTP-bound active state by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). The first putative GEFs isolated for Rabs are RABIF (Rab-interacting factor)/MSS4 (mammalian suppressor of Sec4) and its yeast homolog DSS4 (dominant suppressor of Sec4). However, the biological function and molecular mechanism of these molecules remained unclear. In a genome-wide CRISPR genetic screen, we isolated RABIF as a positive regulator of exocytosis. Knockout ofseverely impaired insulin-stimulated GLUT4 exocytosis in adipocytes. Unexpectedly, we discovered that RABIF does not function as a GEF, as previously assumed. Instead, RABIF promotes the stability of Rab10, a key Rab in GLUT4 exocytosis. In the absence of RABIF, Rab10 can be efficiently synthesized but is rapidly degraded by the proteasome, leading to exocytosis defects. Strikingly, restoration of Rab10 expression rescues exocytosis defects, bypassing the requirement for RABIF. These findings reveal a crucial role of RABIF in vesicle transport and establish RABIF as a Rab-stabilizing holdase chaperone, a previously unrecognized mode of Rab regulation independent of its GDP-releasing activity. Besides Rab10, RABIF also regulates the stability of two other Rab GTPases, Rab8 and Rab13, suggesting that the requirement of holdase chaperones is likely a general feature of Rab GTPases.