Clathrin: anatomy of a coat protein

Trends Cell Biol. 1999 Sep;9(9):335-8. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(99)01631-1.


Clathrin is a vesicle coat protein involved in the assembly of membrane and cargo into transport vesicles at the plasma membrane and on certain intracellular organelles. Recently, crystal structures of two separate parts of the clathrin heavy chain, a fragment of the proximal leg and the N-terminal domain, have been analysed, providing the first high-resolution data for a vesicle coat protein. Viewing these structures in the context of a hexagonal barrel coat, recently determined to 21 A by cryo-electron microscopy, provides new insights into the assembly of clathrin coats.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clathrin / chemistry*
  • Clathrin / ultrastructure
  • Coated Pits, Cell-Membrane / chemistry
  • Coated Pits, Cell-Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Clathrin
  • Macromolecular Substances