FEBS Journal

Cover image for Vol. 283 Issue 3

Edited By: Seamus Martin

Impact Factor: 4.001

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 77/290 (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

Online ISSN: 1742-4658

Associated Title(s): FEBS Letters, FEBS Open Bio

Virtual Issue Membrane Trafficking

Virtual Issue Membrane TraffickingApril 2011

Papers selected by: Harald Stenmark

Front cover: Figure 3 from M. Sapp and M. Bienkowska-Haba (2009) FEBS J 276: 7206-7216 and Figure 4 from J. Mohrluder et al. (2009) FEBS J 276: 4989-5005

Return to Virtual Issue index


Intracellular membrane trafficking is essential to the functions of all eukaryotic organisms, and many of the papers published in FEBS Journal concern the mechanisms and functions of various membrane trafficking processes. In this Virtual Issue we have collected some recent papers that cover two main topics in degradative membrane trafficking - endolysosomal trafficking and autophagy. We also provide examples of papers that describe how pathogens traverse the endolysosomal and autophagic pathways in order to infect cells.

The first part of the Virtual Issue is dedicated to lysosomes, the major degradative organelles in the cell. Lysosomes have three main characteristics: a low intraluminal pH, a very high concentration of intraluminal hydrolases, and an unusually high concentration of highly glycosylated proteins in the limiting membrane. The papers describe how hydrolases and other proteins are targeted to lysosomes, how hydrolases are specifically activated there, and how lysosomes may serve a role in signal transduction through selective degradation of cytosolic components of signalling machineries.

Degradation of cytosolic material is further explored in the second part of this Virtual Issue, which concerns autophagy, a process that involves the sequestration and subsequent lysosomal degradation of portions of cytoplasm. Autophagy has become a major research topic for many laboratories recently since it intersects numerous other cellular pathways and plays a key role in various physiological processes ranging from innate immunity to neuroprotection and tumour suppression. The autophagy articles illustrate the diverse function of autophagy in cell death, cell signalling and organelle homeostasis.

In the last part of the Virtual Issue we illustrate the ways in which various pathogens, ranging from protein toxins to viruses and intracellular bacteria, have evolved to exploit the diverse mechanisms that control cellular uptake of extracellular material and its further routing within the cell.

Taken together, the selected papers constitute a representative collection of the cutting-edge research papers on membrane trafficking that have been published recently in FEBS Journal.

Endolysosomal trafficking


Pathogen entry

Return to Virtual Issue index