Signal dispersal and transduction through the endocytic pathway

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Mar;4(3):213-24. doi: 10.1038/nrm1053.


During cell signalling, information that is encoded by ligands travels from one place, the source, to another, the target, where signals are transduced by receptors. Evidence has emerged recently that uncovers a role for the endocytic pathway in the secretion of ligands at the source, their dispersion through developing target tissues and the transduction of the signals from endocytic compartments. As a result, endosomes have become the focus of attention in cell-cell communication studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Diffusion
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology
  • Endocytosis*
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Ligands
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Ligands
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • dpp protein, Drosophila