Endocytotic cycling of PM proteins

Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2005;56:221-51. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.56.032604.144150.


Plasma membrane protein internalization and recycling mechanisms in plants share many features with other eukaryotic organisms. However, functional and structural differences at the cellular and organismal level mandate specialized mechanisms for uptake, sorting, trafficking, and recycling in plants. Recent evidence of plasma membrane cycling of members of the PIN auxin efflux facilitator family and the KAT1 inwardly rectifying potassium channel demonstrates that endocytotic cycling of some form occurs in plants. However, the mechanisms underlying protein internalization and the signals that stimulate endocytosis of proteins from the cell-environment interface are poorly understood. Here we summarize what is known of endocytotic cycling in animals and compare those mechanisms with what is known in plants. We discuss plant orthologs of mammalian-trafficking proteins involved in endocytotic cycling. The use of the styryl dye FM4-64 to define the course of endocytotic uptake and the fungal toxin brefeldin A to dissect the internalization pathways are particularly emphasized. Additionally, we discuss progress in identifying distinct endosomal populations marked by the small GTPases Ara6 and Ara7 as well as recently described examples of apparent cycling of plasma membrane proteins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocytosis*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Plant Proteins