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Rab11a is a key component of the apical recycling endosome that aids in the trafficking of proteins to the luminal surface in polarized epithelial cells. Utilizing conditional Rab11a-knockout specific to intestinal epithelial cells, and human colonic epithelial CaCo2-BBE cells with stable Rab11a knockdown, we examined the molecular and pathological impact of Rab11a deficiency on the establishment of apical cell polarity and microvillus morphogenesis. We demonstrate that loss of Rab11a induced alterations in enterocyte polarity, shortened microvillar length and affected the formation of microvilli along the lateral membranes. Rab11a deficiency in enterocytes altered the apical localization of syntaxin 3. These data affirm the role of Rab11a in apical membrane trafficking and the maintenance of apical microvilli in enterocytes.
© 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.