I have imported a layered illustrator vector file into my composition, dragged individual elements to the working area and applied transitions and effects. I now have the need to make some subtle edits to the original vector files and am wondering the process to auto update these items in the composition. Without having to re edit the composition again, this would be similar to a replace symbol in Flash.
Alt+drag from the project window to the respective layer in the timeline or use Ctrl+Alt+<.
Thanks very much for the speedy reply Mylenium.
That will replace a layer's contents without altering your effects.
You can also use a couple of other trick like editing your Illustrator art, saving it to the same name and overwriting it, and then reloading the file in AE. This populates the project's comps with the new artwork.