Folding and trimerization of clathrin subunits at the triskelion hub

Cell. 1992 Mar 6;68(5):899-910. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(92)90033-9.


The triskelion shape of the clathrin molecule enables it to form the polyhedral protein network that covers clathrin-coated pits and vesicles. Domains within the clathrin heavy chain that are responsible for maintaining triskelion shape and function were identified and localized. Sequences that mediate trimerization are distal to the carboxyl terminus and are adjacent to a domain that mediates both light chain binding and clathrin assembly. Structural modeling predicts that within this domain, the region of heavy chain-light chain interaction is a bundle of three or four alpha helices. These studies establish a low resolution model of clathrin subunit folding in the central portion (hub) of the triskelion, thus providing a basis for future mutagenesis experiments.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Clathrin / chemistry*
  • Clathrin / metabolism
  • Clathrin / ultrastructure
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation


  • Clathrin
  • Macromolecular Substances