Cargo recognition during clathrin-mediated endocytosis: a team effort

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Aug;16(4):392-9. doi: 10.1016/


Transmembrane proteins destined to endosomes are selectively accumulated in clathrin-coated pits at the plasma membrane and rapidly internalized in clathrin-coated vesicles. The recognition of specific sequence motifs in transmembrane cargo by coated-pit proteins confers specificity on the endocytic process. Interaction of membrane cargo with the clathrin adaptor protein complex AP-2 is the major mechanism of cargo sorting into coated pits in mammalian cells. Recent studies have revealed a variety of alternative mechanisms of cargo recruitment involving additional adaptor proteins. These alternative mechanisms appear to be particularly important during clathrin-mediated endocytosis of signaling receptors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Protein Complex 2 / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Clathrin / metabolism*
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Coated Pits, Cell-Membrane / metabolism
  • Coated Vesicles / chemistry
  • Coated Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Endocytosis*
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Leucine / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Tyrosine / metabolism


  • Adaptor Protein Complex 2
  • Clathrin
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Tyrosine
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Leucine