Endocytosis without clathrin coats

Trends Cell Biol. 2001 Oct;11(10):406-12. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(01)02107-9.


Endocytosis is involved in an enormous variety of cellular processes. To date, most studies on endocytosis in mammalian cells have focused on pathways that start with uptake through clathrin-coated pits. Recently, new techniques and reagents have allowed a wider range of endocytic pathways to begin to be characterized. Various non-clathrin endocytic mechanisms have been identified, including uptake through caveolae, macropinosomes and via a separate constitutive pathway. Many markers for clathrin-independent endocytosis are found in detergent-resistant membrane fractions, or lipid rafts. We will discuss these emerging new findings and their implications for the nature of lipid rafts themselves, as well as for the potential roles of non-clathrin endocytic pathways in remodeling of the plasma membrane and in regulating the membrane composition of specific intracellular organelles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins / metabolism
  • Caveolae / chemistry
  • Caveolae / physiology
  • Cholesterol / physiology
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / physiology*
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Membrane Microdomains / chemistry
  • Membrane Microdomains / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Phagocytosis / physiology
  • Pinocytosis / physiology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Ligands
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Cholesterol