The clathrin-coated pit is the major port of entry for many receptors and pathogens and is the paradigm for membrane-based sorting events in higher cells . Recently, it has been possible to reconstitute in vitro the events leading to assembly, invagination, and budding off of clathrin-coated vesicles, allowing dissection of the machinery required for sequestration of receptors into these structures [2-6]. The AP2 adaptor complex is a key element of this machinery linking receptors to the coat lattice, and it has previously been reported that AP2 can be phosphorylated both in vitro and in vivo [7-10]. However, the physiological significance of this has never been established. Here, we show that phosphorylation of a single threonine residue (Thr156) of the mu2 subunit of the AP2 complex is essential for efficient endocytosis of transferrin both in an in vitro coated-pit budding assay and in living cells.