Clathrin-mediated endocytosis: membrane factors pull the trigger

Trends Cell Biol. 2001 Sep;11(9):385-91. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(01)02082-7.


Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is a vesicular transport event involved in the internalization and recycling of receptors participating in signal transduction events and nutrient import as well as in the reformation of synaptic vesicles. Recent studies in vitro and in living cells have provided a number of new insights into the initial steps of clathrin-coated vesicle formation and the membrane factors involved in this process. The unexpected complexity of these interactions at the cytosol-membrane interface suggests that clathrin-coated vesicle assembly is a highly cooperative process occurring under tight regulatory control. In this review, we focus on the role of membrane proteins and lipids in the nucleation of clathrin-coated pits and provide a hypothetical model for the early steps in clathrin-mediated endocytosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Animals
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / ultrastructure
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Synaptotagmins


  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Synaptotagmins